travel ban march banner image

COVID-19 Crisis and the Australian border shutdown

Madison Marcus has received numerous enquiries with respect to intending travellers, bridging visas, bridging visa holders and temporary visa holders.

From 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.

All travellers to Australia are required to self-isolate for 14 days, either at home or in a hotel.

Our Immigration and Global Mobility experts have prepared a comprehensive guide to the new restrictions that will be in place from 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020

Travel restrictions are subject to change. Please check back regularly for updates from our Global Mobility & Immigration Law experts.

Travelling from overseas

  • All people entering Australia must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • You may board a domestic flight to your intended destination in Australia to self-isolate there.
  • If you are well and not symptomatic, you may self-isolate in a hotel.
  • If travellers do not comply with their 14 day self-isolation requirements, they may face a range of penalties that exist in each State or Territory.

Restrictions in place until: Further notice

Further updates from the Australian Government can be found at:   https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus

Exemptions to travel restrictions

You can travel to Australia if you are:

  1. An Australian citizen

You can come to Australia. You will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

Australians are advised not to travel overseas. Australian’s overseas should return home as soon as possible.

For further information see the Smartraveller website.

2. A permanent resident of Australia

You can come to Australia. You will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

For advice on travelling outside of Australia see the Smartraveller website.

3. A New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia

You can come to Australia. You will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

You must carry proof of residency (driver’s licence or documents in relation to your residency).

4. An immediate family member of Australian citizens and permanent residents

In this case, immediate family means:

  • spouses
  • dependents
  • legal guardians

Without a visa

You can’t come to Australia until you have a visa. Apply for a visa and include proof (such as your marriage certificate, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children). If the Department lets you travel, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

With a temporary visa (except for Partner and Child visa holders)

Attach proof (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children) and submit this form. Do not travel until we advise that you can. If the Department lets you travel, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

Partner and Child visa holders (except Prospective Marriage visa holders) can come to Australia. You will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.

Visa holders in Australia

You must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. You may be eligible to be granted a bridging visa that will keep you lawful until a decision is made on your visa application. CONTACT US to see what you need to do to stay longer.

No further stay condition (includes 8503, 8534 and 8535)

This means you can’t apply for most other visas until you leave Australia. If your visa has less than 2 months validity remaining you can request to waive this condition.

Condition 8558 (Non-resident cannot stay for more than 12 months in any 18 months period)

You will need to apply for a new visa that suits your new needs. Explore your visa options.

If your visa has expired, you need to apply for Bridging E visa (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful. A BVE keeps you lawful while you make arrangements to leave or finalise your immigration matter.

Complying with visa conditions

Can’t enter before required entry date

For temporary visa holders, you will need to apply for a new visa once the travel restrictions are lifted. Permanent visa holders should contact the departmental office which granted their visa, but only when they are able to travel.

Can’t provide additional information due to office closure (Health or Police clearances, Biometrics, English Language Testing)

You will be given additional time to complete checks and provide requested information. You do not need to contact us to ask for an extension while the relevant services are unavailable.

Can’t return to Australia before my visa expires and want to return

You will need to apply for a new visa once the travel restrictions are lifted.

Can’t return to Australia in time for my new visa which requires me to be in Australia at time of application or grant

You will need to apply for a new visa once the travel restrictions are lifted.

Can’t complete Australian Study Requirement or periods of stay under the regional initiatives for Temporary graduate visa holders

The Department is looking at possible concessions on a case-by-case basis.

Processing visa applications

Applicants should be aware that some services relating to the visa application process may be impacted by COVID-19.

The Department of Home Affairs is aware of issues accessing the VEVO system for certain visa holders. If you can’t use VEVO to check your visa status and conditions, you can still access your visa grant letter and visa conditions online using your ImmiAccount.

Visa cancellation

The Department of Home Affairs will notify you in writing if your visa has been cancelled in response to the temporary travel restrictions. This will include information on how to seek revocation of the visa cancellation decision.

Special arrangements for students who are in Australia

Australia’s major supermarkets will temporarily be able to offer more hours to international student employees to help keep shelves stocked.

International students ready to fill critical staff shortages in aged care. Student visa holders do not need to apply. You should contact your employer.

Bridging visa holders

If your Bridging visa expires and you are outside Australia, you will need to apply for another visa. Bridging visas cannot be granted if you are outside Australia.

If you wish to arrange a virtual consultation with us to discuss your matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Immigration & Global Mobility experts below or at info@madisonmarcus.com.au or call our offices on  +61 3 9670 4033 (Victoria) or +61 2 8022 1222 (New South Wales)

George Botros, Immigration & Global Mobility bDivision Manager – Melbourne  MARN: 1799679

Email: george.botros@madisonmarcus.com.au 

Direct line: + 61 3 9602 9006

PLEASE SHARE THIS

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

Subscribe to our newsletter