What is the change? In response to a World Health Organization (WHO) alert, Australia is requiring polio vaccination certificates for certain travelers.

What does the change mean? Travelers who have spent 28 days or more after 5 May 2014 in one of 10 countries deemed to be at risk of polio infection or exportation must be vaccinated before traveling to Australia.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: Travelers who have spent 28 days or more after 5 May 2014 in any of the 10 countries listed below.
  • Impact on processing times: No direct impact, but affected travelers should plan for additional lead time to obtain the certificate and note that failure to provide a certificate could delay the process.

Background: On 5 May 2014, the WHO released an emergency order that Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria posed risks of “wild poliovirus exportations” in 2014 and must vaccinate people who have been residents there for longer than four weeks before they travel internationally. The WHO also warned that Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and Nigeria are infected with wild poliovirus but are not currently exporting outside their borders.

Effective immediately, Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has imposed new measures for all travelers who have spent 28 days or more after 5 May in any of the 10 countries listed above or in any combination of those countries.

BAL Analysis: To avoid delays, affected applicants should allow several weeks to obtain a certificate, which they must bring to their medical appointment with a panel physician (appointed to perform medical exams outside Australia) and include the certificate in their visa application.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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