Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice for Australian Visa Applicants

COVID-19 has had a massive impact on life as we know it, hospitals are overcrowded, countries are closing their borders, business are closing, and many people are living in social isolation.

How does it affect Australian visas?

Is it still possible to apply for an Australian visa?

Yes, it’s possible to make a valid visa application onshore from within Australia or offshore from outside of Australia. If applying onshore you will be granted a bridging visa allowing you to remain in Australia until a decision is made on your application. If applying offshore you can make a valid application but there are currently only limited circumstances where travel to Australia is permitted.

What if I am onshore and have a ‘no further stay’ condition on my temporary visa?

If you hold a temporary visa with a ‘no further stay’ condition (8503, 8534 or 8535) and you haven’t been able to depart Australia, it’s possible to request a waiver of the condition. If granted a waiver you would be able to apply for another visa onshore. The circumstances for a waiver to be granted must be both compelling and compassionate and must have occurred since your current visa was granted.

Will COVID-19 affect visa processing times?

The Department of Home Affairs have advised that COVID-19 will probably have an impact on visa processing times. To check the latest processing times click this link. There may also be delays to some services relating to visa application processes such as medical assessments, police clearances and bio-metrics.

Can I travel to Australia?

COVID-19 has had an impact on the ability to travel to and from Australia, currently you can only travel to Australia if you are:

  • An Australian citizen

  • A permanent resident of Australia

  • A New Zealand citizen who is usually resident in Australia

  • An Immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident (ie: spouse, de facto partner, dependent child or legal guardian)

Most offshore temporary visa holders cannot currently travel to Australia, but there are some exceptions:

  • Temporary Partner Visa Holders

If you already hold a temporary partner visa (subclass 309 or 820) you can travel to Australia and you do not need to apply for an exemption to travel.

  • Temporary Child Visa Holders

If your child holds a dependent child visa (subclass 445) they do not require an exemption to travel.

  • Other Temporary Visa Holders

If you hold a temporary visa you can only travel to Australia if you are an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia (ie: spouse, de facto partner, dependent child or legal guardian), or if you have a compassionate or a compelling reason to travel. Before travel you must first obtain an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs by clicking this link.

Mandatory 14 Day Quarantine

If you are able to obtain an exemption to enter Australia, you must be quarantined for 14 days at a designated facility (eg: a hotel).

What if I am offshore and hold a Bridging Visa B?

If your bridging visa b expires while you are outside of Australia you will need to apply for another visa to return to Australia (eg: a visitor visa), then apply for another bridging visa upon return to Australia. Bridging visas cannot be granted while you are offshore.

Will Hansen Migration’s services be affected during the COVID-19 pandemic?

At Hansen Migration we specialise in family and partner visas. We use the latest technology to ensure the visa application process is as simple and smooth as possible. All consultations will be conducted by video or phone until further notice. Please rest assured that there will be no delays in the preparation of your application as a result of COVID-19. If you are looking to apply for a family visa or a partner visa, please click this link to book a free consultation.

How can I stay informed with the latest updates?

Please note that the situation is constantly changing. To stay informed you can subscribe to this blog for updates or visit the Department of Home Affairs by clicking this link.

We hope you stay safe during this period of uncertainty.

About the author

Nick Hansen

Nick has been a Registered Migration Agent since 2016 when he founded Hansen Migration. Since then he has helped many migrants obtain permanent residency in Australia and Australian citizenship.

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