Australia’s borders are now closed
Yesterday Australia became the latest country to close its borders to foreigners in an effort to limit the impact of the coronavirus. This means that only Australian citizens and permanent residents or their immediate family members will be able to enter the country.
The prime minister has said “The reason for [the travel ban] is about 80% of the cases we have in Australia are either the result of someone who has contracted the virus overseas or someone who has had a direct contact with someone who has returned from overseas”
If you are one of our clients who has been issued with a visa but now won’t be able to travel Australia, my heart goes out to you. We can only hope that this crisis situation doesn’t last too long and we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Immediate family members wanting to travel to Australia
There is an exemption to the travel restrictions for anyone who is a spouse, dependent or legal guardian of an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Your case will depend on whether you already have a visa or not.
If you don’t have a visa, you have to apply for one and if it is granted then you can travel to Australia. On arrival you will have to self isolate at home or a hotel for 14 days.
If you have a temporary visa, you may be able to travel to Australia if you can produce the correct documentation. If you would like a free consultation with me to discuss your case, please click here.
If you have a partner or child visa you are able to travel to Australia. On arrival you will have to self isolate at home or a hotel for 14 days.
Temporary visa holders in Australia
If your visa is due to expire it’s important that you apply for a new visa as soon as possible. You may be able to get a bridging visa which will allow you to stay in Australia.
If you have less than two months left on your visa with a ‘no further stay’ condition, because of the coronavirus situation, it’s possible to have this waived. If you would like me to assess your case, please book a free consultation here.
If your visa contains condition 8558 (non-resident cannot stay for more than 12 months in any 18 months period) and your visa has expired, you need to apply for a Bridging E visa (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful. If your visa has not expired and you would like to learn more about your options for a new visa, please book a free consultation here.
Student visa holders
In some good news for international students, the government has announced they can extend their working hours above the usual 40 hours per fortnight limit. This applies to students already employed at the major supermarkets and Commonwealth-funded aged care providers. Kindly note that only approved employers are allowed.
Your other important visa questions with Australia’s border closed
1. What if I can’t enter Australia before the Australian Government closes its border?
For temporary visa holders, you have to apply for a new visa once the travel restrictions are lifted. Permanent visa holders should contact the departmental office which granted their visa, but only when they are able to travel.
2. What if I can’t provide additional information due to office closure (Health or Police clearances, Biometrics, English Language Testing)?
You will be given additional time to complete checks and provide re