Travel Ban Update – COVID-19 – 20 March 2020

The latest updates from the Australian Government are that as on 9:00pm on the 20th March, only Australian residents, Australian citizens and immediate family of Australian residents and citizens are allowed to enter the country. Any temporary visa holders must enter Australia before 9:00pm on the 20th March 2020.

In these circumstances, the Department of Home Affairs has classified ‘immediate family members’  as spouses, dependents and legal guardians. Immediate family members will still need to apply for an appropriate visa to enter Australia and submit an enquiry to the Department of Home Affairs with evidence to support your standing as an immediate family member before travelling.

All people entering Australia must self-isolate in their home or a hotel. This is not a recommendation and will be enforced by each state or territories law enforcement if necessary.

For current visa holders who are located in Australia, and who need/wish to stay in Australia longer than their current visa allows, you must apply for a new visa which is appropriate for you circumstances. You may be considered for a bridging visa which will allow you to remain in Australia lawfully while you preparations to leave at a later date.

Students currently in Australia who normally have a 20 hour working restriction attached to their visa are temporarily exempt from this condition to fill staffing shortages in certain industries. For more information about these special arrangements, click here.

These restrictions are in place until further notice, there is currently no end date.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

I have already applied for my visa; will it still be processed during this time?

The Department of Home Affairs are still working on processing and granting visa applications. We will update everyone if this changes at any point.

I am currently in Australia and my visa is about to expire but I don’t want to travel at the moment, can I stay?

Anyone looking to stay in Australia after their visa expiry date should apply for the appropriate visa to stay here lawfully. If you are unsure what visa is applicable to your circumstances, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help.

My visa has a ‘No Further Stay’ condition attached to it but I can’t travel right now, what can I do?

There is an option to apply for a waiver on the ‘No Further Stay’ condition. This request must be made while your visa is still valid. Please contact Ethos Migration Lawyers for further assistance.

My visa has already expired, what do I do now?

If your visa has already expired, please get in contact with us to arrange a temporary visa to allow you to remain in Australia lawfully.

I am outside of Australia and cannot travel there before the date required on my current visa, what should I do?

If you visa’s validity is about to expire and you cannot travel to Australia due to the travel restrictions currently in place, you will need to apply for a new visa to be able to travel to Australia once the travel ban has been lifted. If you are unsure which visa may be appropriate for your circumstances, you can get in contact with our lawyers at Ethos Migration for help.

I cannot complete my study requirement for my visa due to my education institute cancelling or deferring classes, what can I do?

The Department of home Affairs is looking at possible concessions and are currently looking at this on a case by case basis.

I cannot complete requested additional information requirements such as Biometrics, Police checks, health checks or English language tests due to departments and offices being closed. What should I do?

Those who are required to give additional information for their visa will be given extra time in order to comply with this. During this time while those services are not available, you do not need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for an extension.

My new visa requires me to be onshore when it is granted, but I cannot get to Australia due to the travel ban. How do I get approval for my visa?

Unfortunately, onshore visa applications cannot be granted while the applicant is offshore. You will need to apply for a new visa once the travel ban has been lifted.

I cannot complete my required period of stay for my Temporary Graduate visa, will this affect my visa going forward?

The Department of home Affairs is looking at possible concessions and are currently looking at this on a case by case basis.

I currently hold a bridging visa; will I be allowed to enter Australia after 9:00pm on Friday 20th March?

Bridging visa’s do not fulfil the resident requirement to enter Australia once the travel ban is in place. If you cannot arrive in Australia before 9:00pm on the 20th March, then you will need to stay outside Australia until the travel restrictions have been lifted. If this bridging visa expires before you can enter Australia, you will need to apply for a new visa to enter Australia.

At Ethos Migration Lawyers we understand that the situation unfolding in Australia and around the world can be stressful, upsetting and alarming for some. If yourself, someone you know or your business needs help and support during this tough time, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Ethos Migration Lawyers. We are doing our best to anyone who needs it. Our doors (and phone lines) will be open as long as they’re allowed to be.

Ethos Migration Lawyers will endeavour to update you as further information becomes available.

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