Australian Visa Update: Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) resumes ‘in-person’ hearing from migration matters


The AAT is mindful that hearing matters remotely is not always practical in some circumstances and where the matter may not be deferred.

The AAT is taking steps to resume limited in-person hearings in the Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Perth and Sydney registries.

The AAT will consider list in-person hearings on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the AAT’s practice directions.

In appropriate matters, in-person hearings are expected to commence within the next few weeks. Parties will be contacted by the Tribunal as to hearing arrangements.

Most AAT hearings and all AAT conferences will continue to be conducted remotely by video conference or telephone for some time.


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Australian Visa Update – Student visa arrangements for those impacted by COVID-19

The Hon Ministers Alan Tudge and Dan Tehan have released a joint media statement outlining the arrangements to be put in place for student visa applicants and student visa holders who have been impacted by the COVID-19 travel restrictions.


The release notes five (5) visa changes:

🔹 Grants of student visas in all locations lodged outside Australia will recommence, so visa holders will be ready to travel when borders reopen

🔹 Free Visa Application Charge (VACs) for international students who lodge further student visa applications, if they were unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to COVID-19

🔹 Current student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 will be have that study counted towards the Australian study requirement for a post-study work visa

🔹 Graduates who held a student visa will be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa outside Australia, if they are unable to return due to COVID-19

🔹 Additional time will be given for applicants to provide English language results where COVID-19 has disrupted access to these services


As these announcements will required legislative changes, there is no further detail available at the moment and we will update you further at that time.


Need help and assistance? Contact us today so we can help

Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne

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📨: info@4australianvisas.com

Latest Information for Temporary/Permanent Visa Holders and Australian Citizens

Leaving Australia?


Latest Information for Temporary/Permanent Visa Holders and Australian Citizens

The following updated information has been released by the Australian Border Force (ABF) relating to travellers wishing to LEAVE Australia.


Non-Citizens

Due to the current COVID-19 situation in Australia, including state and territory border restrictions, business closures and social distancing requirements, international visitors are encouraged to return home when possible to do so.

Temporary visa holders should be aware that if they wish to return to Australia while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, they will generally need a travel exemption. You do not need permission to depart Australia (however an exemption to return must be sought as per standard protocol)


Temporary visa holders returning to their home country

Temporary visa holders impacted by COVID-19 can make arrangements to return to their home country, if border restrictions in that country allow.


Registering your details – Available for Temporary Visa holders only

The Australian Border Force (ABF) will provide your information to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which may provide this information to your home government (either overseas or represented by the embassy, consulate or High Commission in Australia). This may assist with logistical issues such as securing a flight and also provide advice in relation to any local requirements.


Australian and permanent residents

If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident and you plan to leave Australia, you will need to apply for a travel exemption in order to return.


You can apply online but you must meet at least one of the following:

🔹 your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid

🔹 your travel is essential for the conduct of critical industries and business (including export and import industries)

🔹 you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia

🔹 you are travelling on urgent and unavoidable personal business

🔹 you are travelling on compassionate or humanitarian grounds

🔹 your travel is in the national interest.


Travel Exemptions are in place for the following applicants:

🔹 ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia

🔹 an airline, maritime crew or associated safety worker

🔹 a New Zealand citizen holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa

🔹 engaged in the day-to-day conduct of outbound freight

🔹 associated with essential work at Australian offshore facilities

🔹 travelling on official government business, including members of the Australian Defence Force.


Note:

You are considered ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia if international movement records show that you’ve spent more time outside Australia than inside for the last 12 to 24 months. You do not need to carry a paper record of your movements with you. If required, Australian Border Force officers at airports can check your movement records in Departmental systems.


Need help and assistance? Contact us today so we can help

Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne
📞: +61 396 147 335
📨: info@4australianvisas.com

Visa Options And Pathways To Australian Permanent Residency For Hong Kong Nationals

Attracting ‘Global Talent’ to Australia


As political and social tensions rise in Hong Kong, the Australian Government has responded by offering Hong Kong citizens on temporary visa’s in Australia and potential future applicants; a ‘safe haven visa’ to prevent them from forcibly returning to Hong Kong.

Further to an announcement by the Australian Prime Minister on 9 July 2020, it was confirmed that students, temporary graduates and skilled workers from Hong Kong who want to study, live and/or work in Australia will be able to apply to stay in Australia with a pathway to permanent residency.

The Government hopes to attract high skilled candidates and businesses from Hong Kong to Australia to increase productivity with the objective that this would act as a ‘job multiplier’ for the domestic Australian workforce.

There are currently approximately 10,000 students, temporary graduates and skilled workers from Hong Kong in Australia who may be eligible for these changes, with a further 2,500 outside Australia and 1,250 applications on hand.

Specifically, the below changes for each group of Hong Kong nationals will be effective:


Temporary Graduates

🔹 will be offered an additional five years of work rights.

🔹 will be offered a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.


Students

🔹 Current and future students will be eligible for a five-year graduate visa when their studies have completed.

🔹 Current and future students will be offered a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.


Skilled Workers

🔹 Current temporary skilled visa holders from Hong Kong will be eligible for an extension of five years from today in addition to the time they have already been in Australia,

🔹 Also, they will be offered a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.


Applicants Who Already Work And Study In Regional Areas

🔹 will be able to access a pathway to permanent residency after 3 years.


Future Hong Kong Applicants For Temporary Skilled Visas

🔹 will be eligible for a five-year visa with pathway to permanent residency after 5 years

🔹 eligibility will be subject to updated skills lists and Labour Market Testing requirements or,

🔹 they may qualify through the Global Talent temporary visa scheme,

🔹 this scheme is for exceptional talent where the sponsoring employer pays above the Fair Work High Income Threshold of $153,600.


The Australian Government is considering further incentives to attract business in Hong Kong, such as export oriented businesses to relocate to Australia in the hope of creating growth and employment. There will be economic incentives and pathways to permanent residency for critical Hong Kong based staff.

It is planned that this will be done using the current ‘Global Talent and Business Innovation and Investment’ Australian visa Programs, which are both part of the permanent migration program. These programs will be prioritised to facilitate the Hong Kong caseload, additionally, the Australian visa application centre in Hong Kong will re-open (which had shut down due to COVID19).


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Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne
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📨: info@4australianvisas.com

Visa Refused?

Nevett Ford Immigration Lawyers Can Represent You At The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) And Attend Your Hearing

If your application for a visa to visit, enter or stay in Australia is refused, you may be able to appeal the decision. Similarly, if you have held a visa to stay in Australia and the visa has been cancelled, you may be able to appeal that decision to cancel your visa.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is the merits review body for most administrative decisions by the Federal Government. In 2015, the operations of the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) and Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) were absorbed into the Migration Division of the AAT. In the Migration Division, the AAT operates as a non-adversarial tribunal to review decisions by the Department of Immigration. This means that you can be represented by an Immigration Lawyer.

Decisions are made by a tribunal Member who will review the Department of Home Affair’s decision and the facts of your situation. Appealing an adverse decision is complex and involves making an application to the Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the AAT).

If you have been refused a visa, it is very important to pay careful attention to the notice of the refusal, it includes the detailed reasons for the refusal and what requirements you were not able to fulfil. The importance of taking notice of this information cannot be overstressed. If you have the legal right to make an appeal, the notice will state this.

The time limit within which you must lodge an appeal to the AAT for review is strictly limited and must be adhered to otherwise the application will be rejected. The period for making an appeal will depend on the decision sought to be reviewed.

The process and procedures for making an appeal to the AAT is complex and legal advice and assistance from an Immigration Lawyer is highly recommended. You should consider seeking legal advice immediately if thinking about taking the appeal option.

If you are the applicant of a decision involving a visa refusal or cancellation – talk to us for help with making an appeal.

Remember that there are strict time limits for lodging an appeal to the AAT from the day you are given notice of the decision; you must act promptly if you want to appeal. The lawyers at Nevett Ford Lawyers can lodge this on your behalf.

We have represented clients successfully at the AAT on many occasions. If you would like advice and assistance in making an appeal for your refusal or cancellation, please book a consultation with one of our migration advisors. In the consultation we can give you an indication of the overall prospects of success and likely issues in your case, as well as any alternative visa pathways.

When seeking a review at the AAT, it is imperative that you do not make the same mistakes that you made in your visa application, as this may be your last chance to attempt to approve your visa.

Speak with one of our experienced immigration lawyers today

Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne

📞: +61 396 147 335

📨: info@4australianvisas.com

COVID-19: Australian Visa Updates

 

Do I Need A Visa To Enter Australia? Can I Extend My Stay? What About Covid-19 Restrictions?

Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas.

 

What Type Of Tourist Visa Should I Apply For?

There are a variety of visas available to travellers to Australia. The type of visa you should apply for depends on the length of your stay, your passport and the purpose of your visit.

eVisitor (subclass 651)

This is a free visa for multiple visits to Australia for tourism or business purposes for up to three months at a time within a 12-month period. This visa is available to passport holders from a number of European countries and it cannot be extended.

Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601)

This visa allows you to visit Australia as many times as you want, for up to a year, and stay for three months each visit. This visa is available to passport holders from a number of countries and regions, who live outside Australia. There is no visa application charge for an ETA, however a $20 service charge applies for online applications only.

Visitor visa (subclass 600)

The Visitor visa is designed for people who are not eligible for the eVisitor or Electronic Travel Authority visa. This visa allows you to visit Australia, either for tourism or business purposes, for up to three, six or 12 months. Applicants will have to pay a fee to submit their application.

 

Can I Extend My Stay On A Tourist Visa?

If you are already in Australia and hold a valid Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601) you can extend your stay by applying for another visa, such as a Visitor visa (subclass 600). An eVisitor (subclass 651) cannot be extended.

 

What Visa Do I Need To Work Legally In Australia?

The Working Holiday Maker program encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between some countries by allowing young adults (18 to 30 years old) to have an extended holiday supplemented by short-term employment. 

There are two types of Working Holiday visas:

Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)

For applicants with a passport from Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom.

Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)

For applicants with a passport from Argentina, Austria, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Uruguay and Vietnam.

 

Do I Need A Student Visa To Study In Australia?

If you intend to study in Australia, you will need to apply for a Student Visa (subclass 500). If you are the parent, guardian or relative of a student, you can apply for a Student Guardian Visa (subclass 590). If you would like to travel to Australia for a visit and short-term study, you may be eligible for a visitor visa. A Training Visa (subclass 407) allows you to take part in workplace-based training to enhance your skills in your current occupation, area of tertiary study, field of expertise. A Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408) permits temporary entry into Australia for certain programs and projects.

COVID-19 restrictions: the Australian border is currently closed

I am an Australian citizen or permanent resident

All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.

You can travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia. If you are an immediate family member holding a temporary visa you will need to provide us with evidence of your relationship.

Australian citizen

Australian citizens can enter Australia and, in exceptional circumstances, will be permitted to enter without a valid Australian passport. If you don’t have a valid passport, please advise airline staff that you are an Australian citizen and do not require a visa to enter Australia (even if you are a dual national). The airline will contact the Australian Border Force to verify your citizenship. It is important you get to the airport early in case of any delays. Departure from the country you are in is subject to the rules and decisions of authorities in that country.

Permanent resident

A permanent resident is someone who holds a permanent visa in Australia, including a Resident Return visa. Permanent residents must also undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine in designated facilities (for example, a hotel) in their port of arrival once they enter Australia.

New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia

New Zealand citizens who normally reside in Australia (with a subclass 444 visa or other permanent or provisional visa) can come to Australia. You must carry proof of residency (driver’s licence or documents that show your residency). Present it at check-in. You must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in your port of arrival.

Important: New Zealand citizens and permanent residents not living in Australia can only transit through Australia to return to New Zealand. Refer to Transiting Australia.

I am immediate family of an Australian citizen or permanent resident

You are only considered to be an immediate family member if you are:

  • A spouse
  • A de facto partner
  • A dependent child/ren
  • A legal guardian.

All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.

You may need to provide information to the Department before travelling to Australia.

Guardians

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

 

If you don’t have a visa

You can’t come to Australia until you have a visa. Apply for a visa and include proof (such as your marriage certificate, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children).

 

If you have a temporary visa (except for Partner and Child visa holders)

Use the enquiry form below to provide further information to the Department. You should attach proof (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children). Do not travel until we advise that you can.

Partner (subclasses 100, 309, 801, 820) and Child (subclasses 101, 102, 445) visa holders can come to Australia. You do not need to request an exemption.

Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holders can’t come to Australia at the moment.

 

Apply online for an exemption or provide further information

Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia can also use this form to apply for an exemption.

All others

Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia will need to have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner.

All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.

Travel restrictions are subject to change. Some exemptions are in place. Please check back regularly.

 

Additional exemptions as determined by the Commissioner

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider an additional exemption in relation to the travel restrictions currently in place for:

  • Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the australian commonwealth government for the purpose of assisting in the covid-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest
  • Critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that      regularly arrive into australia from international ports
  • People with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception
  • Diplomats accredited to australia and currently resident in australia, and their immediate family
  • Case-by-case exceptions for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.

Exemptions must be granted prior to travelling to Australia. The request for an exemption through Commissioner’s Discretion must be accompanied by:

  • Passenger details: name, dob, visa type and number, passport number, australian      residential address, australian telephone number)
  • Case information: why this case should be considered for commissioner      discretion/exemption
  • Supporting statement: the request should be accompanied by a statement and evidence of how the individual meets one of the grounds for an exemption or excise of the commissioner’s discretion listed above.

It is important that all travellers provide evidence that they meet one of the exemptions above before travelling.

Depending on your reason for requesting exemption, evidence must be provided and could include:

  • Proof of ID
  • Marriage certificates
  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Proof of relationship (for example, shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
  • Visa status
  • Letter from a doctor or hospital indicating why the travel is necessary
  • Letter from an employer indicating why the travel is necessary or the work undertaken is critical
  • Letter from a related business or company
  • Any other proof you may have to support your claims.

All evidence supporting a travel exemption claim needs to be officially translated into English.

Apply online for an exemption or provide further information

Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia can also use this form to apply for an exemption.

I want to apply for a visa

You should reconsider your need to apply for an Australian visa at this time and check this page regularly for updates on travel restrictions and visa processing.  

Visa processing arrangements

The Department is prioritising processing visa applications for those travellers in the exempt categories to support urgent travel.

Visa medical appointments

Clients should be aware of disruptions to visa medical services, due to COVID-19.

My Health Declarations is temporarily suspended. The Health Requirement including the health examinations for your intended visa will be determined once your visa application has been lodged.

Our visa processing officers are aware of the disruptions. We will take the extended timeframes into account when considering your visa application.

You do not need to contact us if your visa medical appointment has been rescheduled.

If you have not yet lodged a visa application or have not been requested to undertake an immigration medical examination, there is no need to contact a visa medical services clinic in Australia or an overseas panel clinic at this time.

Student visas

You do not need a visa if you are overseas and studying online with an Australian education provider.

Education providers can issue a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and enrol students to study online.

Need help and assistance?  Contact us today

Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne

📞: +61 396 147 335

📨: info@4australianvisas.com

 

Australian Visa Options

Even though the Australian border remains closed, you can still apply for visas if you are onshore and you meet the relevant visa criteria if you want to stay in Australia.

For example:

Partner Visa

The Partner Visa is for those who are in a relationship (official marriage or de-facto) with an Australian Citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or a New Zealand (eligible) Citizen. This is a 2-stage visa: the applicant is first granted a Temporary Visa and two years after, if the government is satisfied that the relationship is still ongoing and it continues to be genuine, the Permanent Visa is granted.

If you and your partner were already thinking about applying for this visa, there is no need to wait until this crisis is gone. Our experienced Immigration Lawyers & Registered Migration Agents will be able to advise and guide you to prepare and lodge your application to ensure you meet the legislative requirements.

Subclass 485 Graduate Visa

If you have recently completed a Bachelor Degree, Master or a PhD in Australia or, in some cases, even a Vocational Educational and Training Course, you may be eligible to apply for a Graduate Visa.

If you qualify, this might be a good option in case you intend to stay in Australia for longer as long as you apply within six (6) months of completing your course and you meet the other relevant legislative criteria. This is a 2-year or 18 months visa, depending on the case, that allows you to stay in Australia and work full time after your studies.

Employer Sponsorship (Subclass 482, 494 and 407 visas)

Even though some industries have been affected by COVID-19, there are still companies and organisations employing people on temporary residence and/or permanent residence visas. If you have an offer on employment for sponsorship please contact us so we can assist you and your employer to lodge the relevant applications.

Need help and assistance? Contact us today

Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne