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Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Old Mar 27th 2020, 9:54 am
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Default Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-...el-coronavirus

From 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.
Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents are restricted from travelling overseas from
25 March 2020 at 12:00hrs AEDST.This travel restriction does not apply to:
  • people ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia
  • ​​​airline and maritime crew and associated safety workers
  • New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa are not permanent residents for the purposes of the Biosecurity Determination and are permitted to depart Australia. New Zealand citizens who are permanent visa holders may apply for a Commissioner’s discretion
  • ​people engaged in the day to day conduct of outbound and inbound freight
  • people whose travel is associated with essential work at offshore facilities and
  • people travelling on official government business, including members of the Australian Defence Force.
Travellers who believe they meet a travel restriction exemption can apply online to the Commissioner of the ABF.​​

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Old Mar 27th 2020, 9:55 am
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

The new rules kick in at 11:59pm on Saturday, March 28.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-...otels/12097312

Tough new quarantine rules will force all international travellers arriving in Australia into a two-week isolation period in a hotel.

It means Australians returning home will not be allowed to complete the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period at home, but will instead be taken straight to a state-run quarantine centre.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said more than two-thirds of Australia's known coronavirus cases could be attributed to people returning from overseas.

"For those who are seeking to make their way back, know these arrangements will be in place and they are mandatory," he said.

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Old Mar 27th 2020, 9:57 am
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Parent Visas

Finalisation of many Parent Visa applications will be put on hold for a period of approximately two months. The situation will be reviewed in late May 2020, and further extension/s will be provided if necessary.

Source - auto-reply to an enquiry made of the Dept today,
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Old Mar 27th 2020, 10:07 am
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

BSMQ PROCESSING UPDATE 25 MARCH 2020

  • BSMQ has now temporarily closed OFFSHORE processing for subclass 491 due to COVID-19 crisis and the closure of Queensland’s borders on Wednesday 25 March 2020.
  • BSMQ will inform applicants via the BSMQ website and social media pages when OFFSHORE processing recommences.
  • BSMQ is open to nominations for ONSHORE subclass 491 applicants who continue to meet Queensland state nomination criteria.
  • Subclass 190 and all business visas (subclass 188 and 132) have met nomination allocation for FY 2019-20.
  • New quota will be received in July 2020 and applicants will be required to submit a new EOI for Queensland State Nominated visas (subclass 190, 188, 132) at this time.
https://migration.qld.gov.au/
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Old Mar 28th 2020, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

From the Centrelink website

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au...ed-coronavirus

We’ll temporarily expand eligibility for JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance for job seekers.

We’ll give you access if you’re:
  • a permanent employee who has been stood down or lost your job
  • a sole trader, self employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced
  • caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus.
We’ve waived asset testing for 6 months from 25 March 2020, except for Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit. We’ve also waived the liquid asset test waiting period, newly arrived residents waiting period, and seasonal work preclusion period.

Income testing will still apply.
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Old Mar 28th 2020, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

The Immigration Dept are showing no leniency where visas are concerned.
The info below is current as of today, from https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/all-visa-holders

More details on the website.

===============================================


Visa holders in Australia

Leaving Australia

​​Can return

COVID-19-related restrictions around travelling outside Australia do not apply to people ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia. You can return to your home country/country of habitual residence if it is safe and possible to do so.

Can't return

You should apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

Staying in Australia

You must apply for a new visa before your current visa exp​ir​es. You might be granted a bridging visa that will keep you lawful until a decision is made on your visa application.​

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

This means you can't 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. We will advise you of the outcome of your request. If your request is approved, you can make a new visa application.​​

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 that suits your new needs. Explore your 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.



Last edited by Pollyana; Mar 28th 2020 at 1:04 pm.
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Old Mar 30th 2020, 1:57 am
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/employers-and-education-providers includes info on Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holdersTo keep shelves stocked in this time of high demand, the government has announced a temporary relaxation of the 40 hour a fortnight work limit for student visa holders who work in Australia’s major supermarkets.

All Coles, Woolworths and Aldi retailers have been given a​ccess to the temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders. The primary activity of the business must be the supply of groceries. All work related to a supermarket is acceptable for example deli/seafood, checkouts and trolley collectors.
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Old Apr 3rd 2020, 3:05 pm
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Backpackers allowed to extend stays in Australia during coronavirus pandemic, temporary visa holders to get access to super


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-...ralia/12121004

cting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said people on temporary skilled visas who have been stood down, rather than laid off, could have their visas extended under normal arrangements, while businesses could also reduce their hours without breaching conditions.But he said those who have been sacked and are unable to find a new sponsor should leave the country.

"However, should a four-year visa holder be re-employed after the coronavirus pandemic, their time already spent in Australia will count towards their permanent residency skilled work experience requirements," he said.
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Old Apr 3rd 2020, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Visa overhauls as Government urges backpackers to leave

https://www.couriermail.com.au/coron...2584d91866511c
TENS of thousands of backpackers will be told to leave Australia immediately and warned they will not receive a cent of welfare as the Federal Government moves to cull the number of those on temporary visas.

But exemptions will be unveiled today for Pacific Island seasonal workers and backpackers working on farms, under sweeping visa overhauls that also ensures Australians do not have to compete with international students and skilled migrants to get jobs.
There are more than two million people on temporary visas in the country.
International students, who were recently allowed to double the number of hours they could work to help stack supermarket shelves, will now have these wound back to 40 hours a fortnight from May 1 as desperate Australians look for work.

Mr Tudge said most temporary visa holders with work rights would now be able to access their Australian superannuation to help support themselves during this crisis.
The message will also be made clear today that backpackers will not receive Australian welfare.


There are more than 8000 skilled medical professionals on temporary visas working in the system and they will be allowed to remain.

There are 203,000 international visitors in Australia – typically on a visa lasting three months or less – and 118,000 backpackers.

Backpackers working in critical sectors will be exempt from the six-month work limitation with one employer.
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Old Apr 6th 2020, 11:39 am
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Saturday's Official Press Release here
https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/...a-holders.aspx

Key points - Temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves under these arrangements over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home.

Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.

Temporary Skilled visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements. Businesses will also be able to reduce the hours of the visa holder without the person being in breach of their visa condition. These visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.

Working holiday makers who are working in critical sectors will be exempt from the six month work limitation with the one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working in these critical sectors if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.


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Old Apr 6th 2020, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
Saturday's Official Press Release here
https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/...a-holders.aspx

Key points - Temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves under these arrangements over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home.

Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.

Temporary Skilled visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements. Businesses will also be able to reduce the hours of the visa holder without the person being in breach of their visa condition. These visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.

Working holiday makers who are working in critical sectors will be exempt from the six month work limitation with the one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working in these critical sectors if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.
I have a new volunteer who's here on a Temp working visa - totally out of the loop on visas - with her husband. They've been here 14 months. They've both been laid off, can't pay rent, obviously can't claim anything. No money, how are they supposed to get home? They have all their belongings, even if they find a flight, which is proving impossible , what do they do with their stuff. It's all a complete nightmare. I don't expect the government to bail them out completely but it's hardly their fault they're in this position. Just telling them to go home seems really harsh.
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Old Apr 6th 2020, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
I have a new volunteer who's here on a Temp working visa - totally out of the loop on visas - with her husband. They've been here 14 months. They've both been laid off, can't pay rent, obviously can't claim anything. No money, how are they supposed to get home? They have all their belongings, even if they find a flight, which is proving impossible , what do they do with their stuff. It's all a complete nightmare. I don't expect the government to bail them out completely but it's hardly their fault they're in this position. Just telling them to go home seems really harsh.
I really feel for people in that position, whether they are backpackers, 457/482 temp visa holders, tourists or whoever. The government is giving them no leeway if their visas are running out, just blithely says "apply for a new one" and they aren't offering any financial help, even to people who have lived here for years and been paying taxes etc.
I was talking to my colleagues on shift last weekend about the plight of many people like the one you now and they just didn't get it. They were of the opinion that people should just get on a plane and leave. Even explaining that some of these temp visa holders have been here 5 years or more and have homes, cars and all their belongings here didn't seem to sink in. How many families with their lives now here could even afford family air fares home right now, never mind the fact they would have t leave all their possessions here.
The whole issue is leading to a lot of nasty racist comments and opinions too,with people at all levels of society saying things like - "anyone not Australian should be thrown out" and "borders should be closed permanently" (both comments I have heard at work).
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Old Apr 11th 2020, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/gover...border-closingl,

Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to publish the following list of COVID-19 hotspots pursuant to the powers under s362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

The direction applies from 12.01 am on Saturday 11 April 2020 until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced. The purpose of this direction is to identify COVID-19 hotspots for:From 12.01am on Saturday 11 April 2020 the following Local Government Areas in New South Wales are COVID-19 hotspots:\\Blacktown Canterbury-Bankstown Central Coast Cumberland Inner West Ku-ring-gai Northern Beaches Randwick Ryde Sutherland Shire Sydney Waverley Woollahra

Penalties: A person to whom the direction applies commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction.
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Old Apr 11th 2020, 12:37 pm
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

Statement on Australian citizenship processing
https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/...rocessing.aspx

The Government will hold online citizenship ceremonies via secure video link, to enable people to continue to become Australian citizens during the coronavirus crisis.

Current health advice around COVID-19 means it is not possible for traditional, in-person citizenship ceremonies to be held.

Australian citizenship is an immense privilege, and fundamental to our national identity.

The Department of Home Affairs has commenced trialling one-on-one ceremonies for those already approved for Australian citizenship. We will work with individuals with an urgent need, who cannot access the internet, to ensure their ceremony can occur safely in line with health advice.

When fully implemented, it is expected this new capability will see up to 750 people per day having their citizenship conferred.

The Australian Citizenship Act 2007 requires a person to make a pledge of commitment to Australia before a presiding officer. This is a legal requirement which has been in place for decades.

Applications for Australian citizenship are still able to be accepted during this period, though citizenship interviews and testing have been put on hold.

Additional resources will be deployed to conduct testing and interviews as soon as social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 ease.
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Old Apr 14th 2020, 2:18 am
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Default Re: Visa & Aus travel Information related to COVID-19 situation

RED CROSS Help for migrants in transition

https://www.redcross.org.au/news-and-media/news/help-for-migrants-in-transition

Important message for people on temporary visas

Emergency relief and casework support

11 April 2020

You may have heard that Red Cross is receiving funding from the Australian Government for the next six months to deliver emergency relief and casework support.

Here is some important information about this funding:
  • These funds are for people on temporary visas who have no way to support themselves and who have urgent needs. This includes food, medicine and crisis accommodation costs.
  • We have not yet received these funds but hope to increase our existing Emergency Relief and Safety Net program in the coming weeks.
  • Because of COVID-19, we will not distribute funds from our offices, but we will provide assistance by phone and email during business hours.
We will work as quickly as possible with the Department of Social Services to finalise the details of the funding and expand assistance to people who are experiencing significant vulnerability.

Who is eligible?
You may be eligible for Red Cross Safety Net support if you:
  • are in Australia on a temporary visa
  • are in urgent financial hardship
  • cannot access Centrelink, Medicare or similar services
  • have no income, savings or other financial support (including from family overseas).
Please know that we provide assistance based on need. We have to prioritise people with urgent needs, such as families with young children, people with a disability, people who are experiencing harm, people who are vulnerable to COVID-19, and people with physical or mental health issues.

How to apply
We will advise when we have the funds and arrangements in place. In the meantime, you can nat_r[email protected]?subject=H...n%20transition. [email protected]

Once you have requested help, we will speak to you and see if we can assist with emergency payments, food deliveries, crisis accommodation costs or other support.

To protect everyone’s safety during COVID-19, please do not come to our Red Cross offices at this time. You can [email protected]?subject=H...n%20transition or call 1800 733 276 during business hours.
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