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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Latest visa updates affecting travellers to and from Australia amid COVID-19 pandemic

How the coronavirus is affecting travellers and various visa holders in Australia

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Felix Carao
Felix Caraohttp://www.allskills.com.au/
Felix Carao of ALLSKILLS RECRUITMENT & MIGRATION SERVICES Pty Ltd is a Registered Migration Consultant (MARN 1069354), a Qualified Education Counsellor (QEAC G028), and an Accredited Recruitment Professional (MRCSA 51889). For enquiries, call 04 1232 1187 or email felix@allskills.com.au or visit www.allskills.com.au.

To all our kababayans confused about who and what to follow amidst this ongoing pandemic we are all experiencing, please see below update effective 2 April, 2020:

Who can travel to Australia?

ONLY Australian citizens, Permanent residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.

Who are considered immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident:

  • spouses
  • dependent children
  • legal guardians

Even if you are one of the above family members, you still cannot come to Australia if you do not have a valid visa that allows you to enter Australia. You will need to apply for and be granted either a temporary visa like a visitor visa or some other visa that fits more to your particular circumstances to be allowed to enter Australia.

You will need to include proof of your relationship such as a marriage certificate, your birth certificate or that of your children or evidence that you are the legal guardian of an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia can be allowed on a case by case basis.

To be included as a dependent child in a visa application, a child must be:

  • your or your partner’s child from a current or previous relationship
  • not married, engaged or in a de facto relationship
  • wholly or substantially reliant on you for their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter
  • under 18 years old

Dependent child over 18 

To apply for a visa as a dependent child aged 18 years or older, they must be:

  • dependent on you more than any other person for their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, or
  • unable to work to support themselves because they have a disability that totally or partially affects their bodily or mental functions 

If they are applying for a visa other than a protection, refugee and humanitarian or temporary safe haven visa, they are dependent on you if they wholly or substantially rely on you more than any other person for their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

A guardian in relation to a child is a person who has responsibility for the long-term welfare of the child; and has, in relation to the child, all the powers, rights and duties that are vested by law or custom in the guardian of a child, other than:

  • the right to have the daily care and control of the child; and
  • the right and responsibility to make decisions concerning the daily care and control of the child.

NOTE: All travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated hotels in their port of arrival.

If you hold a Temporary visa 

Holders of Partner (subclasses 100, 309, 801, 820) and Child (subclasses 101, 102, 445) are allowed to come to Australia. However, Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holders can’t come to Australia at the moment.

If your temporary visa is not any of the above subclasses, you should not travel to Australia until you are granted permission. You will need to request an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs.

Travelling from Australia

Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents are restricted from travelling overseas from 25 March 2020 at 12:00hrs AEDST.

This travel restriction does not apply to:

  • people ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia
  • ​​​airline and maritime crew and associated safety workers
  • New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa are not permanent residents for the purposes of the Biosecurity Determination and are permitted to depart Australia. New Zealand citizens who are permanent visa holders may apply for a Commissioner’s discretion
  • ​people engaged in the day to day conduct of outbound and inbound freight
  • people whose travel is associated with essential work at offshore facilities and
  • people travelling on official government business, including members of the Australian Defence Force.

Travellers who believe they meet a travel restriction exemption can apply online to the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force.​​​

Other Temporary visa holders

Staying in Australia

You must apply for a new visa before your current visa exp​ir​es. You may be​​​ eligible to be granted a bridging visa that will keep you lawful until a decision is made on your visa application.​

No further stay condition (includes 8503, 8534 and 8535)

The above conditions mean you can’t apply for most other visas while you are in Australia. If your visa has less than two months validity remaining you can request to waive this condition. If your request is approved, you will be allowed to make a new visa application.​​

Condition 8558 (Non-resident cannot stay for more than 12 months in any 18 months period)

You will need to apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. If your visa has expired, you need to apply for Bridging E visa (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful.

Complying with visa conditions or requests from the Department

If you 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 requested information.

If you can’t return to Australia before your visa expires and want to return. You will need to apply for a new visa once the travel restrictions are lifted.

If you can’t complete the Australian Study Requirement or periods of stay under the regional initiatives for Temporary graduate visa holders, the Department is looking at concessions on a case-by-case basis.

Visa cancellation

The Department will notify you in writing if your visa has been cancelled in response to the temporary travel restrictions. This will include information on how to seek revocation of the visa cancellation.

​Special arrangements for students who are in Australia

Student visa holders do not need to apply. You should contact your employer.

Student visa holders who are already enrolled in nursing can undertake work to help and support the health effort against COVID-19.  The Department will not take any enforcement action regarding student nurses working in these circumstances.

Bridging B visa holders 

If your Bridging B visa expires and you are outside Australia, you will need to apply for another visa. Bridging visas cannot be granted if you are outside Australia.

It is imperative that we follow the advice of our leaders so that we can beat this pandemic the quickest possible time and get back to living our normal lives again.

To get the latest visa updates, you can go to the following: 

  • Go to https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/ 
  • The Australian Government has released an official app with the information you need to know about coronavirus. Search “Coronavirus Australia” in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
  • There is also the Government’s new WhatsApp feature. Send the following to +61 400 253 787 on WhatsApp.

Felix Carao is a Registered Migration Consultant (MARN 1069354), a Qualified Education Counselor (QEAC G028), and an Accredited Recruitment Professional (MRCSA 51889). For enquiries, you may call 04 1232 1187 or email him at felix@allskills.com.au or visit www.allskills.com.au

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