There’s been a raft of new rules and goings-on in relation to the Coronavirus (Covid – 19), travel to Australia and impacts on Australian visa holders.
All Australian arrivals to self isolate for 14 days.
On 15 March 2020, the Australian government announced that all travellers to Australia including Australian citizens and permanent residents would be required to “self-isolate for 14 days after arrival in the country”.
An official interviewed on ABC Radio National said this morning the self-isolation would be monitored, and those not complying would be fined heavily and/or arrested.
There is an exemption for airline crew though, who have been directed to closely monitor their own health status and immediately seek out medical health and/or testing if they feel unwell.
Cruise Ships banned
The government has also banned foreign cruise ships from docking in Australia for 30 days.
Student Visa holders allowed to work more hours
Student visa holders will be able to work extra hours to help keep supermarket shelves stocked. As we all know supermarket shelves have been constantly raided over the last 10–14 days, with commodities such as toilet paper (the great toilet paper panic of 2020), pasta, rice, other staples, meat and hand sanitiser completely out of stock in most stores (two women in Sydney were even charged with assault after a toilet paper standoff).
Students will need to be currently employed in the supermarket, and you can read more in the Minister’s media release here.
The Department of Home Affairs has pledged not to cancel a student’s visa if you work in excess of 40hrs/fortnight, nor will they refer employers for any penalties for rostering student visa holders to work extra hours.
Employers must make a request to the Department of Home Affairs. Find the form below.
Temporary visa holders who have been in mainland China, Iran, Republic of Korea and Italy, are not able to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left the country or transited through the country.
The Australian government has also requested that the following travellers who are not Australian citizens, Permanent residents or an immediate family member (spouse, de facto partner, child, guardian) NOT travel to Australia if you’ve been in:
- Mainland China since 1 February 2020
- Iran on or after 1 March 2020
- The Republic of Korea on or after 5 March 2020
- Italy on or after 11 March 2020
The government has warned that anyone seeking to board a flight to Australia will not be allowed to board, and if you do reach Australia (by some miracle!), your visa will be cancelled (and then you’ll also get a three-year ban – a real hassle that will last longer than the epidemic!)
Limited exemptions for Year 11 & 12 students
Year 11 and 12 students (apart from those in Hubei Province) who have stayed in China due to Australian travel restrictions “have been offered a strict pathway to resume their studies in recognition of the importance of the final two years of school. The exemptions will be considered on case by case basis.”
See further information below.
Visa related Fact sheets
The government has published a ton of fact sheets to assist travellers and visa holders wanting further information:
- Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents – 17 February 2020 (543KB PDF)
- Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for all affected visa holders and applicants – 28 February 2020 (576KB PDF)
- Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for education providers – 17 February 2020 (130KB PDF)
- Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for student visa holders – 28 February 2020 (566KB PDF)
Fact sheets are also available in Chinese (Simplified):
- Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents – 17 February 2020 – Chinese (Simplified) (简体中文) (808KB PDF)
- Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for all affected visa holders and applicants – 28 February 2020 – Chinese (Simplified) (简体中文) (184KB PDF)
- Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for education providers – 17 February 2020 – Chinese (Simplified) (简体中文) (588KB PDF)
- Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for student visa holders – 28 February 2020 – Chinese (Simplified) (简体中文) (177KB PDF)
Use this time to commence your migration to Australia
While everything is up in the air with this awful pandemic, contact us today and start making your plans to migrate to Australia either temporarily or permanently.
And don’t forget if you have any visa issues related to the coronavirus outbreak, we are here to assist. Call us on+61 3 9573 5200
For those of you wanting to book a consultation to explore all your visa options, we are still taking bookings for Skype and Telephone consultations, and we have temporarily reduced these to $150.00 from $220.00.
Please book online here.
It’s business as usual at AHWC Immigration Law!
And another thing…
The head of the Australian General Practitioner’s association has warned the Australian community to stay away from misleading or inaccurate false medical advice, providing, as just one example, actress Miranda Kerr’s “virus protection guide“.
Just don’t go there. Stick with real medical advice from real doctors – there is no substitute, and always remember “There is alternative medicine and medicine that works.” Go with the stuff that works.