The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced yesterday that a travel ban will be imposed in Australia from 9.00pm AEDT Friday, 20 March 2020. The following are exempt from the travel ban subject to a strict 14 days self-isolation:

  • Australian citizens;
  • Australia permanent residents;
  • New Zealand citizens who live in Australia as Australian residents;
  • New Zealanders transiting to New Zealand;
  • Pacific Islanders transiting to their home countries;
  • immediate family, including spouses, legal guardians and dependants of Australian citizens and Australia permanent residents.

Unfortunately, all other non-permanent visa holders including 457/482 visa holders will not be allowed to enter Australia after 9.00pm AEDT Friday, 20 March 2020. It is the airline’s discretion to allow you to fly to Australia. However, if you arrive to Australia after 9.00pm AEDT, you will not be allowed to enter Australia.

The travel ban is a temporary measure to limit the spread of COVID-19. We are currently exploring if there are other options available and we will keep you posted with regards to the lifting of the ban.

Processing of visa applications

Importantly, the immigration department are continuing to process all sponsorship and visa applications and you can continue to lodge applications to enable entry after the ban has been lifted.

Travelling from overseas

All people entering Australia must self-isolate for 14 days.

You may board a domestic flight to your intended destination in Australia to self-isolate there.

If you are well and not symptomatic, you may self-isolate in a hotel.

If travellers do not comply with their 14 day self-isolation requirements, they may face a range of penalties that exist in each State or Territory.

Visa holders in Australia

All visa holders in Australia must apply for a new visa before their 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. We are actively monitoring our visa renewal lists and will reach out accordingly, that said, please do contact us if you have any questions and would like advice about the renewal process.

No further stay condition (includes 8503, 8534 and 8535)

For clients holding a visa that carries a no further stay condition, please reach out to us to discuss how you can request to waive this condition. You should commence this within 2 months of your visa expiry.

Condition 8558 (Non-resident cannot stay for more than 12 months in any 18 months period)

For clients with this condition, you should contact us immediately to explore the waiver of this condition together with exploring visa options.

If your visa has expired, you need to apply for Bridging E visa (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful. A BVE keeps you lawful while you make arrangements to leave or finalise your immigration matter.

Complying with visa conditions

Entry before required date falls during travel restriction

For temporary visa holders, you will need to apply for a new visa after the travel restrictions are lifted. Permanent visa holders should contact the departmental office which granted their visa, but only when they are able to travel.

Additional information due to office closure (Health or Police clearances, Biometrics, English Language Testing)

DHA has advised that all applicants will be given additional time to complete checks and provide requested information. You do not need to contact us to ask for an extension while the relevant services are unavailable.

Unable to return to Australia before visa expiry

You will need to apply for a new visa after the travel restrictions are lifted.

Unable return to Australia in time for my new visa which requires me to be in Australia at time of application or grant

You will need to apply for a new visa once the travel restrictions are lifted.

Unable to complete Australian Study Requirement or periods of stay under the regional initiatives for Temporary graduate visa holders

DHA are looking at possible concessions on a case-by-case basis.

In the meantime, please connect with us via LinkedIn and our blog for regular updates.