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Coronavirus and Australian Visas
It is important to understand how Coronavirus impacts your migration and visa status.
This page provides simple and reliable information about the impact of Coronavirus on Australian visas and travel.
On this page:
- Visa conditions during Coronavirus
- Travelling to Australia before visa grant
- Australia’s quarantine requirements
- Your visa Initial Entry Date of Visa
- Applying for a Travel Exemption – Critical Skills
Read about Australian Working Holiday Visa updates on our dedicated page.
Migration Agent Darren Chatt advises that “staying informed means knowing when to move forward with a visa application or ensuring you do not breach your visa conditions. Failure to stay updated about Coronavirus and Australian travel could jeopardise your chances of going to Australia. If you are unsure you should seek advice from a Licensed Migration Agent or The Department of Home Affairs.”
Visa conditions during Coronavirus
Yes – you must always abide by your visa conditions.
If you are in Australia and your visa is due to expire, you should apply for and be granted a new visa to remain lawfully in Australia. Alternatively, you should leave before you current visa expires.
Failure to comply with visa conditions will negatively affect your chances of entering Australia in the future. Your visa conditions will be outlined on your visa grant letter which you can download from your ImmiAccount.
Travelling to Australia before visa grant
If you are an immediate family member of an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident, you can currently enter Australia. For example you are a dependent child or spouse of an Australian.
You will require a valid visa to enter the country. You can apply for a Visitor Visa (subclass 600) and exemption to enter Australia, providing evidence of your relationship to the Australian. This could include a marriage certificate or birth certificate.
The Department of Home Affairs is experiencing high levels of demand for exemptions and an exemption is not guaranteed. You should make your application at least four weeks but no more than three months before you travel.
We recommend having the visa and exemption in place before making travel arrangements.
Australia’s quarantine requirements
All travelers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival. Most states have started charging for this, with costs starting at $2,500.00 AU.
For full details on the exemption categories, application form and documentation required, see the Department of Home Affairs website.
Your visa Initial Entry Date of Visa
When you are issued an Australian visa you will receive a visa grant letter. This letter details your visa conditions, one of which is your IED (initial entry date). The IED is the date by which you must enter Australia to activate your visa. This is generally 12 months from the date your visa was granted.
The first entry date condition is a legislative requirement attached to permanent and provisional visas granted offshore. It is not possible to waive the condition or vary the date. Visa holders who breach the first entry date condition may be subject to visa cancellation.
However, in the majority of cases, visa holders who are unable to make their first entry by the required date may be allowed to enter Australia at a later date, provided their visa is still valid and there is no other reason to consider cancellation of the visa. (Source: Department of Home Affairs 2020)
Applying for a Travel Exemption – Critical Skills
An individual or business can submit a request for a travel exemption under the critical skills category.
The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant an individual exemption if you are a non-citizen:
- travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
- providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
- with critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services (such as in medical technology, critical infrastructure, telecommunications, engineering and mining, supply chain logistics, agriculture, primary industry, food production, and the maritime industry)
- delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery (such as financial technology, large scale manufacturing, film, media and television production and emerging technology), where no Australian worker is available
- providing critical skills in religious or theology fields
- whose entry would otherwise be in Australia’s national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority.
When applying for a travel exemption, you must provide evidence of how you will provide critical good and services in Australia. You can apply online on the Department’s website.
Check out the below articles on Coronavirus and Australian visas:
- Can I apply for an Australian Working Holiday Visa during COVID?
- The impact of COVID on Australia’s Migration Programme
- Australian Partner Visa Advice
- Parent Visas – Processing Times and Coronavirus UPDATE
- Activating your Skilled Visa during COVID-19
For full details on Coronavirus and the Australian border please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website.
For digestible updates about the impact of Coronavirus on Australian visas, why not follow our social channels?
Check out our latest webinars, presented by our Registered Migration Agent Darren Chatt.
Sue made our whole process stress free.
We honesty could not have done it all with out knowledge and support.
I have already been recommending visa go to friends who are looking to start the process.
Thank you so much again!!!
Sue was a dream to deal with and thoroughly checked over all of our documents ensuring that everything was of the exacting standards of the Australian Government. We could not have completed process without Sue. Thank you once again for all of your help.
Sue was amazing throughout, keeping us updated each step of the way, and providing detailed guidance at the start of each stage, which enabled us to start preparing and collating everything needed for the next part when the time came. Sue’s replies to the many emails that I've sent her way over the course of this process, were always prompt and patient, and nothing ever seemed to much trouble. Sue’s experience and understanding of the processes, timelines and the strict format in which things had to be done, meant that she was able to advise us and provide guidelines, which meant that when we submitted each stage, we were not having to worry about delays due to incomplete applications.
18 months on from that initial meeting - we have now been living and working in Australia for 8 months, and have recently changed onto a permanent visa.
We are extremely glad that we chose to work with Visa Go, and want to say a massive thank you to Sue, Darren and the team for all of their support and assistance throughout.
Darren always took the time to answer any questions and help me through the process.
Within weeks he had my partner visa submitted and now I have my permanent residency!
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My case officer, Sue, has been very professional and knowledgeable throughout the process providing great customer service, from providing the documents required to promptly replying to all queries.
So, to Darren, Kimberley and Sue, thank you all for your support to achieve my Visa.
Our visa process took 11 months (as expected for the visa we applied for) and Sue kept us on track and up to date all the time, extremely organised and always happy to help and provide us with her support.
I highly recommend Visa Go Australia, we couldn't imagine trying to go through this process without Sues help and guidance. Samantha Mills
Can't thank Darren and Kimberley enough.
Calam, Charlie and Rory
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Jonas & Cynthia
I would highly recommend anyone applying for a visa to do it through them.
They made sure we had all the information at every step of they way and nothing was ever a problem if I called or emailed.
Thank you so much to all of the team!
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