Freedom Migration COVID 19 CORONAVIRUS Update

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

16th April 2020

Updates on Those Who Can Enter Australia 

Remember policy, rules and laws are ever-changing and frequent in the current environment. Please make further enquiries before making bookings, changing travel plans or lodging Australian visas. 

  1. Guardians – the Department of Home Affairs (Immigration) identifies this as a person who has responsibility for the long-term welfare of an Australian citizen or permanent resident’s child/children and has all the powers, rights and duties that are vested by law or custom in the guardian of the child.
  2. Holder of Temporary Visas – the Department noted that Partner (subclasses 100, 309, 801, 820) and Child (subclasses 101, 102, 445) visa holders can come to Australia and won’t have to apply for an exemption.
  3. Additional exemptions as determined by the Commissioner:
    1. Foreign nationals traveling invited by the Government to assist in the COVID-19 pandemic.
    2. Critical medical services.
    3. People with critical skills for example Medical specialists, engineers, etc.
    4. Diplomats accredited to Australia. 
    5. Case-by-case exceptions for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.

Leaving Australia

Australian Citizen and Permanent Residents

According to the Department, Australian citizens and permanent residents are prohibited from leaving the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident and still want to leave the country, you can apply (submit your application here) for an exemption if you fall under these categories:

  • 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 traveling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
  • you are traveling on urgent and unavoidable personal business
  • compassionate or humanitarian grounds 
  • your travel is in the national interest.

You will not need to apply for an exemption if you are: 

  • ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia
  • airline and maritime crew and associated safety workers
  • a New Zealand citizen holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa
  • engaged in the day-to-day conduct of outbound and inbound freight
  • associated with essential work at offshore facilities
  • traveling on official government business, including members of the Australian Defence Force.

Who can come back after leaving Australia?

The travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic outside Australia do not apply to people ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia. You can return to your country of residence as long as it is safe and possible. 

Who can’t come back to Australia?

Those who have expired or soon to expire visas. Make sure to apply for a new one before your existing visa expires.

Who Can Stay in Australia? (New Additions) 

  1. Permanent Resident or PR visa holders can stay in Australia during the pandemic. If you are looking to leave Australia and come back, the Department urges that you should check your travel facility period on your permanent visa. You can check it through the VEVO services or your Immi Account.

26th March 2020

We invite you to an online webinar where Emma discusses issues, the facts to date and potential solutions.

When: Tomorrow, Thursday the 26th of March 7 pm Brisbane Time.

Who Should Attend: If you and your partner are together or in different countries right now and you have not yet lodged your partner visa or prospective marriage visa then this webinar will address issues related to your situation.

Where: Online (we will send you a link). From the comfort of your own home!

The webinar has ended, but feel free to sign up here to be subscribed to our future webinars and updates.

25th March 2020

1. From 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced enhanced border measures last Friday 20 March 2020. Exemption for the travel restrictions:

A. an Australian citizen
B. a permanent resident
C. a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia
D. an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.

The Department of Home Affairs noted that the Travel Restrictions are subject to change, should there be any updates, we will add them to the list.

2. All travelers entering Australia are still subjected to self-isolation for 14 days. Here are some guidelines from the Department:

A. You may board a domestic flight to your intended destination in Australia to self-isolate there.
B. If you are well and not symptomatic, you may self-isolate in a hotel.
C. If travelers do not comply with their 14-day self-isolation requirements, they may face a range of penalties that exist in each State or Territory.

3. Australian Govt. advises Australians to reconsider overseas travel plans.

4. Visa holders in Australia are asked to apply for a new visa before the current one expires.

The same goes for applying for the ‘No Further Stay Condition’ waiver. Seek legal help for the available options for your situation.  

5. Visa Condition Compliance

The Department announced an extension to complete and provide the necessary checks and information ea. Health or police clearances, biometrics and english language testing.

6. Visa Processing

The Department announced that the processing of visas and service relating to the visa application process may be impacted by the COVID-19.

7. Checking of Visa Status

The Department acknowledges that the VEVO system isn’t accessible to certain overseas visa holders. If VEVO isn’t available for you to view your visa status, the visa grant letter and visa conditions are still available online via your IMMI account.

8. Visa Medical Appointments

A. Extended timeframe for the visa processing officers due to the disruptions of medical services inside and outside Australia.
B. Inside Australia, visa medical services are reduced due to the requirements of the Department of Health in relation to COVID-19.

These measures are:
– Social Distancing. Implemented from March 19 onwards.
– Some bookings are going to be canceled and refunds are going to be issued. The Department will call those people with canceled appointments and reschedule them into available appointments before opening the booking system.

C. Outside Australia, overseas services are expected to be temporarily suspended or reduced operations for the next months as nations respond to COVID-19.
The Department noted that there is no need to contact visa medical services clinics in Australia or overseas if you haven’t lodged your visa application yet.

Do you want to lodge a visa? CLICK HERE!

About the Author Emma Drynan

I am the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. I am extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because I’m the product of a partner visa family.

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