Implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on my Australia Migration Strategy or my current Visa
We are truly living in unique times. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting everyone. As the situation continues to affect our world, we wanted to report on some of the areas the pandemic is impacting on peoples migration plans or current travel plans, to or from Australia. This page is in no way meant to be comprehensive, we will however continue to update it as further information comes to hand that may be of interest.
For any Australian migration related matter we urge you to Contact us for specific assistance.
Finally our thoughts are with those affected by the virus, particularly those who are sick. We wish them a speedy recovery.
Flight restrictions and travel bans
Extensive travel bans are impacting those in Australia and those hoping to get to Australia.
Specific detail on the travel restrictions and the Australian border can be found here
NEW TRAVEL BAN All non-residents are banned from entering Australia. Anyone who is not a citizen, resident, or close family member of a citizen or resident will be denied entry into the country.
DFAT has also urged all Australians to return to Australia by commercial means.
At the time of writing this Qantas have announced that they will suspend all international flights as a result of the pandemic. Closures of this nature will impact many visitors to Australia who can not return to their home countries.
For those visitors within the country do not let yourself go unlawful if you can help it. All visa holders must apply for a new visa onshore before the current one expires. If you have a condition such as an 8503 you need to apply to have that waived before lodging a new onshore visa.
We understand that Department of Home Affairs is taking a flexible approach to visa holders in these circumstances who may have requested for waiver of the ‘No Further Stay’ condition (8503, 8534 and 8535).
Bridging Visa B (BVB) holders offshore
A Bridging Visa B allows a visa applicant who is temporally offshore to return to Australia . If the travel ban prevents the BVB holder return there is no ability to “extend” a BVB travel period. The applicant will need to apply for a further visa to return to Australia, such as a short stay Visitor visa, once the travel restrictions have been lifted. Decisions on Visitor visa applications will be made on a case by case basis. Once onshore, the person will need to apply for a BVA to remain lawful after the Visitor visa expires.
With an increased demand on medical services being able to complete your medical checks may prove challenging. Bupa Medicals have also released the following message BUPA on its online booking site
Important message from Bupa Medical Visa Services
In light of the current COVID-19 situation and to ensure we can meet Australian Government guidelines, we are currently not taking new bookings and are rescheduling some existing bookings. New bookings will become available in the coming days once existing bookings have been rescheduled.
For customers with existing bookings, you will be notified shortly if your appointment needs to be rescheduled. No action is required from you. Bupa will contact you as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.
VETASSESS has decided to cancel all offshore assessments effective immediately. This related to licensed trade assessments namely Plumbing, Electrical and Air Conditioning Refrigeration Mechanic.
Assessments for professional occupations are not affected by this.
Australian High Commissions
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian High Commissions and Embassies based in many counties will have limited capacity to assist with questions relating to immigration or citizenship. We also expect that this will impact visa processing where this is performed at offshore centres, e.g. visitor visas, offshore partner visas, offshore child visas etc
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Links
Smartraveller information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here
Information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the Australian border can be found here
Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions to Australia can be found here
Information on the Australian government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation guidance can be found here