Coronavirus and Australian Visas – FAQs
As COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to impact global movement, it is important to understand how this will impact your migration and visa status.
We have been inundated with enquires, so have created this ‘Coronavirus and Australian visas FAQ guide’ to answer the most common questions. We will continue to monitor the situation and update our website to assist you.
Where can I find current information on travelling to Australia?
You can find the latest information about Australian travel restrictions and isolation measures on the Department of Home Affairs website: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus
As of 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. All travellers to Australia are required to self-isolate for 14 days, either at home or in a hotel. You can view information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation on the Australian Government website.
According to the Government website, these restrictions will remain in place until further notice. The department are advising that travellers check the website regularly.
We recommend seeking advice primarily using the Department of Home Affairs website.
Should I change my future travel plans to Australia?
As the situation is developing rapidly, it is impossible to predict what travel restrictions will be in place by the time you intend to travel.
For more information on the current travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements in Australia, please refer to the Government website: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus.
Please note that the current advice from the UK government is for all British nationals to avoid non-essential travel.
Does this impact the processing of my skilled or family visa?
While there is no direct impact yet, we do anticipate minor delays in processing for a number of reasons:
- Technical and Practical assessments with Vetassess have been suspended until further notice, meaning your skills assessment may take longer to complete
- Some panel doctors are suspending new appointments, meaning your medicals will be delayed
- Employees across the globe are being advised to work from home and take sick leave, meaning Immigration may have less case processors working on visas
You can view the latest visa processing times here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-processing-times/global-visa-processing-times
We will continue to publish new information as it becomes available.
I have been granted a visa with an initial entry date – will this date be extended?
Those with expiring entry dates should look to enter Australia within the given timeframe. We have not yet received confirmation that extensions will be provided.
We recommend contacting Immigration directly if your initial entry date is in the next 1-3 months.
Within Australia: Telephone 131 881
Outside Australia: Telephone +61 2 6196 0196
I cannot complete my medical check within the given time frame – what should I do?
Clients should book their medicals if requested, but we understand that there will be delays.
The most important thing is you communicate with your visa case officer. We recommend uploading the payment receipt for your appointment, and any correspondence you may have as evidence of your booking (or attempt of booking).
You should also upload a letter requesting an extension from Immigration, however extensions are not guaranteed and it is important you make reasonable attempts to arrange your medicals.
My travel plans have been affected – can I simply stay in Australia?
No – all tourist visa applicants in Australia should consider leaving as to not to overstay their visa. We always advise that you must obey all visa conditions.
Moreover, the UK Government have asked for all overseas Brits to return immediately to the UK.
I am a visa holder in Australia – how does this impact me?
You must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. You may be eligible to be granted a bridging visa that will keep you lawful until a decision is made on your visa application. You can refer to the Government website for instructions on what you need to do to stay longer.
If your current Australian visa states – No further stay condition (includes 8503, 8534 and 8535) – then you cannot apply for most other visas until you leave Australia. If your visa has less than 2 months validity remaining you can request to waive this condition.
If your current Australian visa states – Condition 8558 (Non-resident cannot stay for more than 12 months in any 18 months period) – you will need to apply for a new visa.
If your visa has expired, you need to apply for Bridging E visa immediately in order to become lawful.
We thank you for your patience during this busy time as we respond to your enquiries. You can stay updated on Coronavirus and Australian visas by checking our news page.