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

 

NSW Limited Opening For Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Applications

NSW Treasury will begin accepting nominations for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa – Subclass 491) for a limited time.
Applications will open on Monday 15 June 2020 and applications will cease to be accepted at 5pm on Tuesday, 23 June 2020.
Applications will be assessed by the end of the financial year, Tuesday 30 June 2020.

Only applicants who meet the following criteria will be assessed:

  • All Department of Home Affairs’ criteria requirements for this visa, and
  • Have an occupation on the NSW Stream 1 Regional Skilled Occupation List, and
  • Have been living in a designated regional area in NSW for at least the last 12 months, and
  • Have been working in a designated regional area in NSW for at least the last 12 months, and
  • Have been working in their nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation, for at least the last 12 months.

Applicants that do not meet ALL of these requirements will have their applications declined. Application fees are not refundable in the event that the application is not approved.

Further information on applying for NSW nomination for the Subclass 491 visa will be published on the NSW Treasury website on Monday 15 June 2020.

Need help and assistance? Contact us today

Nevett Ford Lawyers Melbourne