Are you caught by the Coronavirus travel restrictions and imminent visa expiry?
Are you either in Australia worrying about a visa expiry, or worried that your visa may expire while you are overseas and unable to come back to Australia?
We can only imagine how stressful this must be for you, and we thought we would explore this topic by examining some of your likely FAQs – and hopefully helping you to work out what to do.
I am in Australia and my tourist/student/another type of temporary visa is about to expire. What do I do?
The Department of Home Affairs has issued statements saying that visitor visas will be granted where there is a danger of imminent visa expiry. Whilst this will keep you lawful in the country until you can depart, as you know a visitor visa will not provide work rights.
The DHA has mentioned that it will consider such applications very quickly, and will prioritise applicants with imminent visa expiry dates.
If you hold a student visa, it is likely that a further student visa will be granted if you continue to meet the criteria – however, you will need further confirmation of enrolment or letter of offer in order to be able to lodge this visa type.
I have a long term visitor visa, and I will overstay the visa conditions – i.e. I may end up staying more than the 12 months in an 18-month cycle. What do I do?
The Minister for Immigration has issued firm guidelines on this topic. You must apply for a new visitor visa.
If you have a short term visitor visa (I.e. you’re able to only spend 3 months in Australia each visit), you will also need to apply for a new visitor visa.
I am on a Working Holiday or Work and Holiday Visa which is about to expire, and I have not done the regional work to apply for a second visa. What do I do?
Once again, your best option is to apply for a new visitor visa to get you through until you can travel home.
If you are intending to study, you may consider a Student Visa application. Alternatively, if you meet the requirements, you may be able to apply for an employer-sponsored visa or another type of skilled visa. We can assist you to explore your options.
I have a temporary visa but it has a Condition 8503 – No Further Stay, which means that I cannot apply for another visa onshore. What do I do?
The DHA is waving condition 8503’s where there are less than two months left on the visa. Generally, the 8503 condition applies to visitor visas. If the condition is lifted, you may apply for any other type of visa, provided you meet the criteria for it.
You will need to apply for a waiver of the condition before you apply for a new visa – otherwise, the visa application is invalid.
Have a look at our case study which we wrote earlier, about successfully applying for a waiver of an 8503 condition.
I am currently overseas and my Bridging Visa B is about to expire. What do I do?
Under these circumstances, you will need to apply for a Visitor Visa to return to Australia – if you are allowed to return to Australia (see our new blog article about the Travel bans here).
Once you are able to return, you will be able to apply for a new Bridging Visa A.
Unfortunately, any visitor visa will prevent you from being able to work until it expires – as a result, we recommend that you apply for a visitor visa as soon as you know that you can travel, and request that it is a very short term visitor visa just to allow you to return to Australia.
My Prospective Marriage visa has just been granted, and I only have nine months to travel to Australia and get married. What do I do?
This is a tricky question, and one can only hope that the crisis is averted before the end of your visa duration. If not there are two options. First of all, you can reapply for a Prospective Marriage Visa, and request expedited processing or you can apply for a Visitor Visa, and lodge an onshore partner visa once you arrive back in Australia.
You may be able to travel back to Australia now but you would need to complete the DHA’s enquiry form to find out if you can travel.
I have been granted permanent residence, but have not yet travelled to Australia – and the final date for travel to Australia is imminent. What do I do?
Contact the DHA at the email address that accompanied your visa grant notice. Ask for an extension to travel. If such an extension exceeds the dates for your health or character certificates’ expiry, you may have to provide new ones before you can travel, after bans are lifted.
We published an article about travel bans et cetera, a couple of days ago. We included DHA’s fact sheets. Please click here to read the article