The Government is strongly encouraging offshore Skilled and Business Visa Holders to remain compliant with visa conditions, such as Condition 8504, which requires a person to enter Australia by the initial entry date specified on their visa grant notice.
However, it has also recognised this may not always be possible and provisions may be available due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Condition 8504 | Skilled Visa Holders
The Government has indicated it will generally not seek to cancel a person’s Skilled Visa if the sole reason is a breach of Condition 8504.
This applies to:
- Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa holders
- Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 Visa holders
- Skilled Regional Subclass 489 Visa holders
- Skilled Work Regional Subclass 491 Visa holders
While it may be possible to enter Australia after your initial entry date, it’s important to note the validity period of your visa cannot be extended.
You could arrive in Australia after your initial entry date, as long as it is before the ‘Must not arrive after’ date on your visa grant notice.
You do not need to be granted an ‘extension’ to your initial entry date or visa. Instead, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs office that issued your visa prior to travelling to Australia.
Condition 8504 | Business Visa Holders
Business Skills or Distinguished Talent Visa holders who are in this situation and unsure about whether they can meet Condition 8504 have been requested to contact the Department directly for further information.
We are here to support you
This is reassuring news for the above visa holders that may need more time to arrange travel to Australia as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
As you may know, under The Migration Act 1958, a breach of visa conditions, such as Condition 8504, can result in a person’s visa being cancelled. Once a person’s visa has been cancelled, it can impact their ability to apply for Australian visas in the future, unless it can be challenged. If you have any questions about this information, please let us know.
We encourage you to also get in touch if your visa is expiring in coming months or if your business requires exemptions for critical workers to travel to Australia.