The Australian Government is offering travellers who want to fly back home to their country a refund of their travel costs if they have been in Australia for less than two months.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed the number of people returning to Australia from abroad rose by 13 per cent from April to May, and by 17 per cent over the same period last year.
People who have been overseas for more than two weeks will receive a $500 refund for their first $1000 and $500 for each additional $1000 of their journey, up to a maximum of $2,500.
They can also use the money to buy their own travel insurance.
ABS data shows that the average time a person stays in Australia from outside the country is four months.
A total of 1.8 million Australians have spent more than four months in the country.
Australia is a signatory to the 1951 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, which provides for protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
There is no limit on the number you can take home and people can take as many as they want.
Australians will be able to use the $500 back to travel home if they leave Australia for more then two months before they return.
Travel agents are also taking action.
The Australian Travel Advice Service said travellers should look for a company they can trust to get them home.
“If you’ve been away for more that two months you can get a refund on your travel costs.
That means you can go home and get your passport back,” the agency said.
Anyone planning to travel abroad this year should contact their travel agent.
Australian travel advice: If you are not sure if your visa will be approved for return you can check if you have a visa.
If your visa has expired you should contact the Australian Embassy or Consulate to check if your travel permit is valid and to confirm your plans for overseas travel.
Read more about how the Commonwealth Government is supporting the Commonwealth’s emergency response to the tsunami.