Latest Migration Updates for Australia | COVID 19
1) I am currently in Australia on a visa with a No Further Stay Condition, but I cannot leave Australia because of travel bans, country lockdowns or that I am in a high risk age group. What can I do?
If you are currently in Australia on a visa (such as a visitor visa) which is expiring soon and the visa has any of the No Further Stay conditions (8503, 8534 and 8535), you may be able to apply for a waiver of those conditions to extend your stay in Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs has announced that extra resources have been diverted to the No Further Stay waiver section to deal with the increased volume for waivers, which have generally been processed within days.
2) I would like to apply (or have applied) for an Australian visa but I am unable to complete my Health exam, Police clearances or sit an English language test because my home country is in lockdown. What can I do?
If you are applying for a visa which requires you to have health exams, police clearances and English language tests done within a tight timeframe, but are unable to do so because of travel restrictions or country lockdowns, you may be able to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for an extension of time. Bupa Medical Visa Services have just announced that they have currently stopped taking new bookings until all existing bookings have been rescheduled. The Department has stated that it will take a flexible approach and consider applicants’ requests on a case-by-case basis.
3) I received a visa grant but I am unable to enter Australia by a specified date due to travel bans. What can I do?
If you have recently been granted a visa offshore and are required to enter Australia by a specified date but cannot do so due to travel bans, you could make a request to the Department for an extension to the entry date. You will need to contact the section of the Department that issued the visa. All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
4) I currently hold a temporary visa but have a de facto partner or spouse who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Will my temporary visa be cancelled upon arrival into Australia due to the coronavirus?
If you currently hold a temporary visa but are also an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent residents (for eg. spouse, partner, minor dependants or legal guardians only), your temporary visa may not be considered for cancellation upon your arrival into Australia. You must contact the Department of Home Affairs with the relevant overseas post using the Australian Immigration Enquiry Form on the Department’s website before attempting to travel.
If a de facto relationship has not been previously declared to the Department, documents can be submitted to the Department of Home Affairs by using the Australian Immigration Enquiry Form.
Such documents might include:
• Evidence of child of the relationship and shared responsibility for care and support of children;
• Evidence of shared finances or purchases, such as joint loan agreements for real estate and operation of joint bank accounts;
• Evidence that a de facto couple are living together such as joint ownership of residential property, joint residential leases, joint rental receipts, joint utilities and correspondence addressed to either or both parties at the same address; and
• Any other documents that demonstrate that a de facto couple is in a genuine and continuing relationship.
We suggest that you contact a registered migration agent to assist with your gathering of such documents.
5) I am an international nursing student in Australia and I heard that my working hour restrictions will be lifted. Is that true?
Yes, it is true. PM Scott Morrison said on 18 March 2020 that students who are already studying and in some cases working in Australia will be made available ‘to help and support the health effort right across the country, as directed by our health officials.’ The restrictions on your work hours will be lifted, so that you can work the same number of hours as an Australian permanent resident or citizen in the healthcare industry as student nurses. Such employers include aged care facilities, home care providers and other health care providers. We do advise that you maintain personal hygiene and stay safe and healthy if you decide to work as a student nurse.
6) I am an international student in Australia who is currently employed at a major supermarket. I heard that working hours at major supermarkets can be extended. Is this true?
Yes, it is true. In a media release provided by the Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the acting minister states that international students currently employed at the major supermarkets will be able to extend their working hours to help meet high demand for essential items because of the coronavirus. These international students will not be restricted to working the maximum 40 hours a fortnight during the term.
7) My temporary visa was cancelled on arrival into Australia because I flew in from mainland China. How can I have my visa reinstated?
If you held a temporary visa which was cancelled on arrival into Australia due to travel bans and enhanced border control measures, your visa will be reinstated if you can demonstrate that you have been outside of mainland China for a minimum period of 14 days before entering Australia. The Department of Home Affairs are currently notifying persons in writing of their visa cancellation and providing them with advice on how to seek revocation of the visa cancellation decision. Visa cancellations are a complex area and our advice is to speak with an experienced solicitor whom is also a registered migration agent before contacting the Department of Home Affairs.
8) I currently hold a Business Skill Visa. I’m worried that I may not now meet the residency requirements. What can I do?
If you currently hold a Business skill visa with a residency requirement, but are unable to return to Australia due to travel restrictions, you may be able to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for an extension of time for the residency requirement. The Department of Home Affairs has stated that the residency requirement for Business Skills visa holders will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
In these uncertain times you ought to retain one of our experienced solicitors (whom are registered migration agents) to deal with requests of the Department of Home Affairs. The consequences and ramifications if you get it wrong can be significant.
To find out more contact one of our friendly staff at Bambrick Legal today: