[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ custom_padding_last_edited=”on|phone” _builder_version=”4.4.3″ use_background_color_gradient=”on” background_color_gradient_start=”rgba(0,95,229,0.45)” background_color_gradient_end=”rgba(179,200,219,0.67)” background_color_gradient_direction=”167deg” background_color_gradient_overlays_image=”on” background_image=”https://www.thinkvisa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/bg-COVID.png” custom_padding=”145px|0px|145px|0px|true|false” custom_padding_tablet=”” custom_padding_phone=”33px|0px|33px|0px|true|false”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.4.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.4.3″][et_pb_image src=”https://www.thinkvisa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/1.png” url=”https://www.thinkvisa.com.au/” url_new_window=”on” align=”center” _builder_version=”4.4.3″ width=”40%” width_tablet=”65%” width_phone=”87%” width_last_edited=”on|phone” max_width=”83%”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”0|0px|44px|0px|false|false”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.4.3″ text_font=”Montserrat||||||||” text_text_color=”#FFFFFF” text_font_size=”1.6vw” text_letter_spacing=”9px” header_font=”Montserrat|600|||||||” header_text_color=”#FFFFFF” header_font_size=”45px” text_font_size_tablet=”2.4vw” text_font_size_phone=”2.4vw” text_font_size_last_edited=”on|desktop” header_font_size_tablet=”” header_font_size_phone=”32px” header_font_size_last_edited=”on|phone” text_text_shadow_style=”preset4″ text_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”-0.03em” text_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0.09em”]

Foreign Nationals and Temporary Visa Holder

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Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department and Home Affairs (DOHA) and border arrangement temporarily changed the rules and policies to protect all people residing in Australia.

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All current international visitors in Australia are encouraged to depart the country soon if possible to do so. However, keep in mind that countries around the globe are implementing border restrictions following the COVID-19 outbreak and international travel agencies are reducing travellers capacity. Temporary changes in border policies around the globe may impact your ability to enter another country.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_accordion _builder_version=”4.4.3″ hover_enabled=”0″][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Staying further in Australia” _builder_version=”4.4.3″ hover_enabled=”0″ toggle_font=”Alegreya Sans SC|700|||||||” toggle_font_size=”28px” open=”on”][/et_pb_accordion_item][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)” open=”off” _builder_version=”4.4.3″ body_font=”Antic Slab||||||||” body_font_size=”18px” custom_margin=”-30px|9px||9px|false|true” custom_margin_tablet=”” custom_margin_phone=”” custom_margin_last_edited=”on|tablet” custom_padding=”|16px||16px|false|true” hover_enabled=”0″ body_font_size_tablet=”16px” body_font_size_phone=”14px” body_font_size_last_edited=”on|phone”]

Tourists and those without eligible family support are urged to return to their home country as soon as possible. In case you aren’t able to depart soon due to temporary border policies changes, check your visa expiry date and all visa conditions attached to your visa grant letter and make sure you are lawful to stay further in Australia. 

As you cannot extend or change the visa expiry date,  you’ll need to apply for a new visa before your primary visa expires.

For those who have an 8503“no further stay condition” attached on their visa grant, you’ll need to have this condition waived before you apply for another visa. The 8503 waiver may take a couple of weeks to process. Therefore, you should start this process or seek advice regarding the next steps as soon as possible.

Once the new visa application is lodged (before your current visa expires), you will be granted a bridging visa to allow you to lawfully stay in Australia while you wait for the decision on your new visa.

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As you cannot extend or change the visa expiry date, you’ll have to apply for a new visa if your current visa is expiring and you cannot return to your home country or a new student visa if you need more time to complete your course in Australia.

Make sure you apply for the new visa before your current visa expires. Once the new visa application is lodged (before your current visa expires), you will be granted a bridging visa to allow you to lawfully stay in Australia while you wait for the decision on your new visa.

In case you want to apply for a new Student visa to complete your course in Australia, you should lodge your application at least six weeks before your existing Student visa expires.

Limited services relating to the visa application process

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, some services needed for your student visa application process may temporarily be unavailable. This includes medical checks for panel doctors, certain English language testing and biometrics collection facilities.  If you have already lodged the visa, we can request additional time to complete checks and provide other requested information.

International Students Work Exemptions

The Government has temporarily relaxed the enforcement of the 40-hour work limitation for students who are working in one of the following critical sectors

  1. aged care, health care
  2. nursing
  3. major supermarkets

Other work hours exemption

 

  • Course is “OUT OF SESSION”

 

Students with “out of session” courses are allowed to work unlimited hours. Scheduled course breaks and completed courses as scheduled are considered “out of session.” 

  •  Studying masters by research or doctorate course

International students who have begun their masters by research or doctorate course are also allowed to work unlimited hours.

  •  Course has been postponed/suspended

You’re allowed to work more than 40 hours per fortnight if your course was suspended, postponed or deferred.

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Your subclass 482/457 will remain valid as long as you haven’t been laid off by your employer. Businesses were also allowed to extend passes and/or reduce work hours without breaching the visa conditions and their obligations as an employer.

In case you’ve been laid off, you need to find a new employer within the next 60 days or you make arrangements to exit Australia. If you aren’t able to return to your home country soon, you must find a way to gain a valid visa as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Pandemic Visa: Temporary work visa holders who are employed in critical sectors (health, child/disability/aged care or agriculture) are eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Pandemic Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408) – Australian Government Endorsed Agreement Event (AGEE) stream visa.

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Working Holiday Maker visas cannot be extended. But if you’ve completed three (3) to six (6) months of “specified work” (worked in a specified industry in a specified area of regional Australia), you are eligible to apply for a second or a third Working Holiday Maker visa.

Meanwhile, Working holiday makers who are employed in critical sectors including agriculture, health, aged and disability care and childcare will be exempt from the six-month work limitation with one employer.

COVID-19 Pandemic Visa: Temporary work visa holders who are employed in critical sectors (health, child/disability/aged care or agriculture) are eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Pandemic Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408) – Australian Government Endorsed Agreement Event (AGEE) stream visa.

Visa condition 8547 — six-month work limitation with one employer

Visa condition 8547 allows Working Holiday Makers to do any kind of work during their stay in Australia. However, it is generally limited to six months of work for one employer unless the Department gave permission to work with the same employer for longer than six months.

Working Holiday Makers working within critical sectors (health care, aged care or agriculture) are allowed to work for the same employer exceeding the six months with proof of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances. Other scenarios where Working Holiday Makers are permitted to work for the same employer for longer than six months include:

  1. In different locations and work in any one location does not exceed six months
  2. Plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia
  3. Certain industries in northern Australia only
  4. Assisting bushfire recovery efforts.

Other circumstances apart from those mentioned above will need to request permission to work with the same employer for longer than 6 months.

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Subclass 403 visa holders in the Pacific Labour Scheme

You may apply for a subsequent subclass 403 visa in the Pacific Labour Scheme if you and your employer are endorsed/supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to participate in the scheme. Pacific Labour Scheme allows you to stay lawfully in Australia and continue working until you can return to your home country.

Subclass 403 visa holders in the Seasonal Worker Program

Subclass 403 in the Seasonal Worker Program cannot be extended. But during these trying times, the Australian Government implemented new measures for those working within critical sections to support the people in Australia during the COVID-19 outbreak.

You may be eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Visa (subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream). You’re eligible if:

  1. Your visa is about to expire
  2. Your visa has already expired
  3. You can’t leave Australia
  4. You are working in a critical sector, like health, aged care or agriculture.

Visa conditions: 8503 (No Further Stay) and 8577 (Changing Employers)

Condition 8577 for Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme implies you are normally allowed to work for one Sponsor/Approved Employer unless the Department of Home Affairs gives you permission to change. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be able to move between Sponsors/Approved Employers. In case you need to move between Sponsors/Approved Employers, your employer must notify:

  • The Department of Education, Skills and Employment for Seasonal Worker
  • The DFAT for Pacific Labour Scheme.

COVID-19 Pandemic Visa: Temporary work visa holders who are employed in critical sectors (health, child/disability/aged care or agriculture) are eligible to apply for a COVID-19 Pandemic Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408) – Australian Government Endorsed Agreement Event (AGEE) stream visa.

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Bridging visa A, B and C

Bridging visas A, B and C will allow you to lawfully stay in Australia after your current visa expires and your new visa application is being processed.

Bridging visa E

Bridging visa E is a  temporary visa that will allow you to stay in Australia while you:

  • make arrangements to leave
  • finalise your immigration matter
  • wait for an immigration decision.

Working rights

Your work rights are determined by the conditions attached to your bridging visa. Check yours using the VEVO service or by accessing your visa conditions through your ImmiAccount.

In case your bridging visa conditions restrict you from any type of work and you are in a difficult financial situation, you can apply for a bridging visa A and gain the right to work. But you need to prove that you are in fact in a difficult financial situation in need of a source of income.

You won’t be granted with a new Bridging visa that lets you work if:

  • Your current Bridging visa A was granted to you because you have applied for judicial review of the decision made on your original visa application, or
  • You have applied for a protection visa.

Expiring Bridging visas

If you want to stay in Australia beyond your visa expiry date, you must apply for another visa.

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If your visa was expired for no more than 28 days, you must apply for a bridging visa E as soon as possible to stay lawful in Australia. BVE will enable you to remain in Australia while you make arrangements to exit the country.

In case you intend to stay further in Australia, you’ll need to apply for a new visa. Your current situation will determine your visa options and what you can do to stay lawful in the country. Considering how long your visa expired, you’re likely to face restrictions when applying for another visa.

Considering some services needed for the visa application process were impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and are currently unavailable (e.g. medical checks and biometric collection facilities), applicants are given an additional time to complete the required checks and provide requested information.

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All passengers arriving in Australia are mandated to take a 14-day quarantine in designated facilities (e.g. hotel) within their port of arrival.

To enter Australia, you must have an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner. Exemptions are given only to those with compassionate and/or compelling reasons to enter the country.

Other exemptions determined by the Commissioner

  • 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 (e.g. 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 should be granted to the traveller prior to their entry to Australia. All request for an exemption through Commissioner’s Discretion must be accompanied by:

  • Passenger details
  • Name
  • Date of birth (DOB)
  • Visa type and number
  • Passport number
  • Australian residential address
  • Australian telephone number
  • Case information
  • Why your case should be considered for Commissioner discretion/exemption
  • Supporting statement:
  • 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.

Other Restrictions related to travel

Cruise ship

On the 15th of March 2020, full restrictions on arrivals on any cruise ship that leaves a foreign port are placed. These restrictions are also effective for direct arrivals and round trip cruises (RTC). The restriction measures will be reviewed after 30 days upon implementation.

Since 16th March 2020, Australia denies entry to any cruise ship that has left any foreign port. Exception applies to

  • Australian-flagged vessels
  • International cruise ships en route having departed their last overseas port and destined for Australia.
  • Australian cruise vessels (domestic cruise ships) operating within the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone can continue to operate without restriction.
  • Round Trip Cruises that are already in progress and currently returning to Australia.

All other cruise ships who haven’t met the above exemptions may be approved by the Maritime Traveller Processing Committee (MTPC).

Airline industry

On 20 March 2020, airline staff are encouraged to ensure that only exempt travellers must board a flight to Australia. As much as possible, the Australian Advanced Passenger Processing system will be used to deny uplift for all travellers.

The Australian Government will honour “okay to board” messages that every airline receives. All airlines will contact the Australian Border Force Border Operations Centre for all non-exempt travellers boarding the flight.

Airline crew are exempted from the travel restrictions. However, all airline crew are advised to take particular lay-overs, use dedicated private transport and avoid crowded public spaces. They are also required to self-isolate in their accommodation whenever they enter Australia until their next work flight.

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Before you can transit across Australia, you must hold a valid visa or you’re from an eligible country to Transit Without a Visa (TWOV). In case you don’t hold a visa allowing you to have a lawful entry to Australia, you can apply for a Transit visa (subclass 771). Subclass 771 will allow you to transit through Australia for up to 72 hours, enough time for you to wait for your upcoming flight. Transit visa doesn’t allow you to stay in Australia for much longer. You should apply for a different visa if you intend to stay longer.

Eligible New Zealand citizens can transit through Australia with a Special Category visa (Subclass 444). For all other passengers who’ll need to transit through Australia, you must apply for an exemption.

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Export restrictions

All equipment used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is banned for export as per the Australian government’s orders. These includes:

  • Disposable face masks
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable gowns
  • Goggles, glasses or eye visors
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Hand sanitizer.

Exemptions

  • A person departing Australia takes a reasonable quantity of these items for personal use
  • Items are exported by a person for a relative’s personal use, and they are not sent by international mail
  • Items are exported by a humanitarian organisation and they are not sent by international mail
  • Items have been manufactured by the exporter and they are not sent by international mail
  • Exported Items are a person’s normal business (registered under the GST Act and with an ABN) and they are not sent by international mail
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Employers are required to abide by all relevant Australian workplace laws. All migrant workers, including international students, are entitled to the same rights under the Australian workplace laws as all other employees.

Agriculture

Flexible arrangements are placed for Seasonal Worker Programme, Pacific Labour Scheme participants and Working Holiday Makes allowing them to extend their stay in Australia.

  • Seasonal Worker Programme or Pacific Labour Scheme workers with expiring visa are eligible to apply for COVID-19 Pandemic visa (subclass 408 – AGEE stream).
  • Workers who are currently in Australia under the programs mentioned above are exempted from the requirement to work for a single employer, allowing them to move between approved employers.

Supermarkets

The 40 hours per fortnight work limit are lifted for student visa holders who work in Australia’s most major supermarkets. It was lifted to keep supermarket shelves stocked during this time of high demand. These measures only apply to workers in their existing roles until the 1st of May, 2020.

Aged Care

International students working in aged care are also allowed to work for more than 40 hours per fortnight. All aged care Approved Providers or Commonwealth-funded aged care service providers issued with a RACS ID or NAPS ID are allowed to temporarily relaxed working hours for student visa holders.

Nursing

International students enrolled in nursing can undertake work to help and support health efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as directed by health officials.

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Need Help?

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