Immigration Australia is bracing hard times with tough decisions to take on the COVID-19 pandemic. In this effort, the country has closed its borders to all travelers and foreigners from entering the nation. The decision applies to all those who aren’t permanent residents. The move is expected to effectively slow down the spread of COVID-19.
The decision comes with good reason. About 80% of Australia’s cases have their origins in travelers who returned to the country. The people who have been in contact with them also have been causing the spread of the virus. Currently, there are more than 800 cases of COVID-19 infection in Australia.
The border closure has been in effect from 21:00 March 20, 2020, local time. The closure has turned down travel plans of many and affected many families. The situation has put millions of temporary visa holders in Australia in trouble too.
Foreigners in Australia are trying to cope with the situation. It becomes necessary for them to follow the measures taken by the Australian government. The implication these measures bring to migration overseas must be learned.
For foreigners trying to leave Australia
There’s a highly volatile situation owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. Flight cancellations and rerouting may increase in the coming days. Hence it would become necessary to plan your flights without delay when it is available.
It is also necessary to learn about the restrictions the respective countries of origin are imposing on travelers returning there. E.g. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued advisory to UK citizens. They should stay informed about the guidelines issued by governments in Australia and the UK.
For foreigners who want to stay
Australian government has clarified that foreigners who are staying in Australia with a valid visa can continue to do so. The only necessity is to comply with the requirements specified for such visa holders to stay back. This includes terms like having a job in Australia. Applications for new visas or extending existing visas must be submitted well within the stipulated time.
In this situation of crisis, it will be necessary to check whether the expiry date is coming close. They must reapply before validity lapses.
In the special circumstance owing to COVID-19, Australia is allowing foreigners to apply to waive the “no further delay” condition. This clause, commonly applied on temporary and backpacker visas, prevent them from getting renewed. But it’s essential to apply for such a waiver.
To stay back in Australia after the expiry of the visa, the foreigner must apply for a Bridging Visa. This will help you stay back legally until your application for a new visa is approved.
The Australian government has clarified that proper assessment of a visa application will be done. This will be based on the COVID-19 enhanced border measures and the applicant’s individual circumstances.
Students who have study requirements to fulfill can opt to apply for an exception. Such permissions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
For those who are coming from outside Australia
Those who are outside Australia will not be allowed to travel to the country until the travel restrictions are in place. In the present scenario, the duration of the restrictive orders is not known. Those who are now in Australia and planning to leave the country and return will also not be allowed to do so.
If a traveler with a temporary visa has not yet returned from the foreign country, he/she will need to re-apply after the restrictions are lifted. As of now, only a permanent resident of Australia is allowed to re-enter the country. Such a person is advised to contact the office that granted visa when he/she is able to travel.
For those who stay in Australia
There is a concern raised by the Labor opposition and migration advocates over the fate of temporary employees. Those doing temporary work in Australia could face a difficult situation. They foresee a possible disadvantage for temporary work visa holders staying in Australia. This stems from the possibility of them losing their jobs and consequently losing out on the eligibility to stay back.
These are hard times faced by the nation with serious economic issues. Finding job replacement will hence be hard for these temporary workers. Many of them will also lose access to subsidized medical treatment or welfare benefits.
In a call for more support, the migration advocates are making appeals to the stakeholders. Already, few supermarket chains have offered more shifts for international students. Australia’s agricultural and farming sector is currently trying to influence Canberra. The aim is to extend the visas of seasonal workers and working holidaymakers.
Foreigners seeking help in Australia
Countries like the UK are already advising people to follow instructions and directions posted on Australia’s immigration website. The website informs everything on visa rules and changes in immigration.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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