COVID-19 border closures, quarantines and travel restrictions are taking place at a global, national, state and regional level in Australia and Government announcements are coming through at a very rapid pace.
We hope our updates are helpful in understanding the impact of these announcements for visa holders and that you and your family are keeping safe during this difficult time.
Temporary Visa Holders in Australia
Today Prime Minister, Mr Scott Morrison announced people in Australia on Working Holiday Visas must self-isolate for 14 days where they currently are. Following this, they can travel to rural and regional communities to assist with primary production work, such as fruit picking.
Recently, the National Cabinet announced that some New Zealand Citizens, including those holding a Subclass 444 Visa, will be eligible for the Government’s JobKeeper payments.
In addition, some Student Visa holders are able to work more hours to assist with essential services during the COVID-19 period – read about this here.
However, unfortunately there is still no announcement on whether Temporary Visa holders will be able to access financial support from the Government if their employment has been impacted or if they are unable to leave Australia due to the travel restrictions.
We have had a number of people ask about their options to extend their stay in Australia. If you are a Temporary Visa Holder and your visa is expiring soon, here’s what you need to know.
Update on Travel Bans and Exemptions
State Premier, Mark McGowan yesterday announced WA’s borders will close at midnight this Sunday 5 April to further prevent the spread of COVID-19, similar to other Australian states.
The State Government are currently finalising exemptions for interstate travel to WA, but they will include people who perform work functions including:
- Health services;
- Emergency service workers;
- Transport, freight and logistics
- Specialist skills not available in WA;
- National or State security and governance;
- Courts and judicial services;
- FIFO workers and their families.
Further exemptions will apply on compassionate grounds.
Like other states, WA will also enforce 14 day quarantine restrictions for interstate travellers who arrive in the state.
The level of restrictions make it more difficult than ever for people to travel to Australia, WA and even regionally within WA.
Other information you may find helpful
While pathways to Permanent Residence (PR) may not be top of mind during a pandemic, we hope our ongoing Regional Visa Video series is helpful to you.
In this month’s video, we discuss how the 494 Regional Visa may provide a new PR pathway for skilled individuals that intend to live and work in any area other than Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Watch our 3 minute explainer video here.
As always, please let us know if you have any particular visa or migration concerns. We are here to support you and we encourage you to contact our team of Registered Migration Agents on [email protected] or +61 8 9221 3388 (or National Free Call 1800 449 858).