Travelling Overseas While Bankrupt
One of the terms you agree to when you declare bankruptcy is to accept certain travel restrictions. This does not mean you cannot travel overseas, it simply means you have more of a process to go through. Your bankruptcy trustee serves as the person who can give you permission to leave Australia while bankrupt.
When Can I Travel?
You’re likely to receive permission if you have been following the terms of your bankruptcy and will continue to do so while abroad. You can request permission from your trustee who will want to know information such as where you received the money to travel, when you are leaving and coming back, and your reason for travel.
When Can I NOT Travel?
If you do not have written permission from your trustee, you cannot leave the country while bankrupt. You are allowed to have a passport, but if your trustee requests it, you must hand it over.
You are unlikely to be granted permission if you have not been following the obligations of your bankruptcy, you need to help the trustee administer the bankruptcy, or the trustee has not completed the full investigation by the intended departure.
How Do I Request Permission?
You’ll need to request permission using a “Request for Permission to Travel Overseas Whilst Bankrupt” form you can obtain from your trustee. Be sure to give them plenty of notice and answer honestly. If you are granted permission, your trustee will give it to you in writing along with any conditions, which you should keep with you while abroad.
What Happens If I Don’t Ask Permission?
Travelling overseas while bankrupt without permission, or breaking any of the conditions of your permission, is an offence under the Bankruptcy Act and can be punishable by imprisonment or extended bankruptcy.
If you don’t agree with your trustee’s decision to deny travel permission, you should try to resolve it with them directly. If you’re still unhappy with the decision, you can bring your case to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or Federal Court. Learn more about bankruptcy and situations where your home can be saved, with a consultation from one of our experienced trustees. Call 1800 861 247 or submit an enquiry.