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How Coronavirus is affecting Australian Visa Applications & Current Visa Holders

We are all living in a very challenging environment especially when it involves your ability to remain in a country where you’ve established yourself and set up a home.

Current Changes

  1. Travel ban was imposed on all non-resident and non-Australian citizens coming into Australia from 9.00pm , Friday 20th March 2020. Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens who are normally resident in Australia and immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents can enter Australia after this time.  An immediate family member is defined as a spouse, dependent or legal guardian.
  2. All travellers returning to Australia will be placed in mandatory isolation, paid for by the Australian government, for 14 days.
  3. Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders
    The Government has made changes to the work restrictions of Student Visa Holders, in certain circumstances. Australia’s major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths (and other entities registered with the Department) will temporarily be able to offer more hours to international student employees to assist with the re-stocking of supermarket shelves.  It is only for existing employees in their existing roles.
  4. Aged care providers will temporarily be able to offer more hours to international students to ensure the care of senior and vulnerable Australians, as part of the campaign to combat the impact of coronavirus.
  5. If You’ve Been Requested to Complete a Medical Examination for Your Visa
    Bupa Medicals have experienced some delays until they were set up to meet the required social distancing laws.  The Australian Government realise that if you’re offshore that it is not currently possible to undergo medical examinations within the requested time frame and are allowing you to undertake these as soon as it is practicable.
  6. You will be given additional time to complete checks, biometrics, English Language Testing and provide any requested information. You do not need to ask for an extension while the relevant services are unavailable.

How the current changes due to the coronavirus will affect applicants applying from offshore?

The current changes mean than no temporary visa holders can enter Australia nor can you apply for a temporary visa to enter Australia due to the current travel bans.

Nothing stops you from applying for an offshore permanent residency visa as Australian permanent residents are still permitted to enter Australia.

How the current changes due to the coronavirus will affect temporary visa holders in Australia?

Temporary Visa holders in Australia may find they are unable to depart Australia before the expiry of their visas or stay periods therefore they will need to apply for a further visa to remain lawful during this time.  You will not be provided with flexible arrangements or special conditions.

You will still have to apply for a visa if your current visa is expiring and you wish to stay.

Temporary Visa holders subject to condition 8503 will need to apply for a waiver to allow them to be granted another onshore visa.  The waivers are currently being issued within 24 hours of the request.

 

Complying with visa conditions

 

Can’t return to Australia before my visa expires and want to return

You will need to apply for a new visa once the travel restrictions are lifted.  Although for those who are holders of the Subclass 300 visa, further investigation is being sought about the implication it may have and the requirement to re-apply and have to pay the fees again.

Can’t complete Australian Study Requirement or periods of stay under the regional initiatives for Temporary graduate visa holders

The Department of Home Affairs is looking at concessions on a case-by-case basis. Please refer to their article ‘Covid-19 and overseas international students’ for further information.

Bridging Visa Holders

If your Bridging visa expires and you are outside Australia, you will not be able to return to Australia whilst the current travel bans are in place. Bridging visas cannot be granted if you are outside Australia.

Processing Visa Applications

Applicants should be aware that some services relating to the visa application process may be impacted by COVID-19.

How Migration Downunder can assist you in this difficult time?

It doesn’t cost you anything to give us a call.  We are offering a free chat service to applicants who are currently in Australia and require assistance with the lodgement of a further visa to enable you to remain here lawfully whilst the uncertainly around the world continues.

Please call us on 02 9419 5411 and one of our friendly Registered Migration Agents will be able to assist you!

For anyone offshore, please contact us either via email at [email protected] or through our Contact Us form to see whether there is a future pathway available for you.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/entities-temporary-relaxation-student-working-hours
  2. https://www.bupa.com.au/bupamvs
  3. https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/davidcoleman/Pages/international-students-ready-to-fill-critical-staff-shortages-in-aged-care.aspx
  4. https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/

 

Published Mon 23 March 2020. Tags: , ,

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