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Coronavirus: How will COVID-19 affect Australian Immigration Practice and Policy? Students, skilled workers, Business, Families?

Coronavirus: How will COVID-19 affect Australian Immigration Practice and Policy? Students, skilled workers, Business, Families?

We have put together two videos discussing this topic and will continue to bring you updates as we all move the Coronvirus situation.

 

VIDEO 1 -Coronavirus - Australian Travel Bans, Student & Visitor Visa Holders Options and The Rush Back

 

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Coronavirus : Australian Immigration Policy Changes & 482 Losses for temporary workers

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Coronavirus - Australian Travel Bans, Student & Visitor Visa Holders Options and The Rush Back

 

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Bruno's Australian Regional Migration: From Student Visa to Skilled State Sponsored Visa


Bruno arrived in Adelaide as a student visa and fell in love with Australia's laid back lifestyle.

Work Visa Lawyers helped Bruno with his successful Skilled Regional (Provisional) 489 visa application under the ANZCO 391 111 Occupation of Hairdresser.

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Australian Partner Visas and the Effects of COVID-19 “Coronavirus” - FAQS

talking on phone 2

As we write this update, we have a very many people worried for the future and concerns for loved ones abroad and in Australia due to the disruption the Coronavirus crisis is causing as the number of confirmed cases

rise globally by the hour.

At this point in time, many plans for the future have been disrupted as a result of the lockdown or shutdown of airports and countries to foreigners.

Our thoughts are with anyone who finds themselves in this position. As specialist in the area of partner and family migration we have been considering how the Coronavirus crisis may be affecting you and created

the following Questions and Answers below:

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491 Visa (Skilled Regional) Nomination and Application Success

Visa 491 banner

491 Visa - Australian (Skilled Worker Regional) Provisional - Questions and Answers

As the Visa subclass 491 is still quite a new visa subclass for the Australian Department of Immigration, we have been receiving a huge amount of questions, so we thought we would collate them all in one place. Hopefully you will find these answers useful, if you don’t find the answer to your 491 visa question please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living and Working in Regional Australia
Occupation and Skills
English Language Skills
My family and My Visa
My Health and Character
Processing Times and Costs
Moving towards Permanent Residency

 

 

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2020 Australian Partner Visa Processing Times

2020 Australian Partner Visa Processing Times

In 2018, one quarter of all Australian marriages were between a local and foreign born person.
That’s 28,452 marriages in Australia and potential spouse visas. (Source: https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/home-is-where-the-heart-is-or-is-it-20191223-p53mgt.html)

Partner visa processing times have steadily increased over the past two years.

We have previously written about the processing times here: https://www.workvisalawyers.com.au/news/all/australia-partner-visa-processing-times-update-march-2017

The current processing times are such that for a Temporary Partner (subclass 820) visa (onshore) 22 to 29 months on the Home Affairs website (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/partner-onshore/temporary-820)

And for a Partner Provisional (subclass 309) visa (offshore) 17 to 20 months on the Home Affairs website (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/partner-offshore)

The Department is receiving more applications in a migration program year (same as the financial year, from 1 July to 30 June) than it will be able to process in that year, which is affecting your ability to get the visa granted.

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Changes to Working Holiday Makers Program Allow Backpackers to Help Bushfire Recovery

Changes to Working Holiday Makers Program Allow Backpackers to Help Bushfire Recovery

The Australian 2019/20 bushfire season has been one of the worst natural disasters our country has faced.

We have previously discussed the impact of the bushfires on various visa subclasses in our recent article: https://www.workvisalawyers.com.au/news/all/how-will-the-bushfire-crisis-impact-on-australian-visas-and-immigration-1.html

Among the affected visa holders, Working Holiday (subclass 417) and Work and Holiday (subclass 462), have felt the biggest impact. Working holidaymakers may have experienced disruptions to their work and thus, are unable to meet the specified work required to extend their visas. Others may have been turned away from fire and drought affected areas as there is simply no work available.

Following recommendations from the National Bushfire Recovery Agency, changes to working holiday visas were announced today. These changes are mutually beneficial for fire affected regions and working holiday visa applicants and holders.

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Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy - Your Questions Answered

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy - Your Questions Answered

We are here to answer your questions about the Skilling Australians Fund levy

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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - What it means for International Students, Australian Visa Holders, Expats and Tourists

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak - What it means for International Students, Australian Visa Holders, Expats and Tourists

Friday March 27, 2020 - Government waives waiting period for newly arrived residents for Coronavirus Supplement  

In an update today, the federal government announced that the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period (NARWP) will be temporarily waived for recipients eligible for the Coronavirus supplement. When the Coronavirus supplement ceases, those people that were serving a NARWP will continue to serve the remainder of their waiting period, though the time the person was receiving the Coronavirus supplement will count towards their NARWP. Residency requirements still apply. For more information visit : https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/increased-and-accelerated-income-support

 

Updated statistics via World Health Organisation Situation Dashboard March 25, 2020:

Globally estimated at 465,915 confirmed cases and 21,031 deaths, 199 countries and territories with cases, 712 associated with Diamond Princess Cruise Ship

Mainland China 81,961 cases and 3,293 deaths 

Italy 74,386 confirmed cases and 7,505 deaths

United States 63,570 confirmed cases and 884 deaths

Spain 47,610 confirmed cases and 3,434 deaths

Germany 36,508 confirmed cases and 198 deaths

Iran 29,406 confirmed cases and 2,234 deaths

France 24,920 confirmed cases and 1,331 deaths

Switzerland 9,714 confirmed cases and 103 deaths

Australia 3,166 confirmed cases and 13 deaths:
1,405 in New South Wales
574 in Victoria
555 in Queensland
255 in Western Australia
257 in South Australia
62 in ACT
46 in Tasmania
12 in Northern Territory

 

Wednesday March 25, 2020 - Further Social Distancing Restrictions and Business Closures

From midnight tonight the following activities and businesses will no longer be allowed to continue:

  • Amusement parks and arcades
  • Indoor and outdoor play centres
  • Community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, wellness centres
  • Public swimming pools
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres
  • Auction houses
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections
  • In-store beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours, spa and massage parlours (excluding allied-health-related services, such as physiotherapy)
  • Food courts within shopping centres will only be able to sell takeaway. Shopping centres themselves will remain open

Restrictions on specific activities:

  • Weddings can continue, but only with the couple, the celebrant, and witnesses totalling a maximum of five people
  • Funerals are limited to a maximum of 10 people
  • Outdoor and indoor food markets will be addressed by individual states and territories
  • Personal training and boot camps are limited to a maximum of 10 people
  • Hairdressers and barber shops can continue, but a customer must not be on the premises longer than 30 minutes

Updated statistics via World Health Organisation Situation Dashboard March 25, 2020:

Globally estimated at 375,498 confirmed cases and 16,362 deaths, 195 countries and territories with cases, 712 associated with Diamond Princess Cruise Ship

Mainland China 81,767 cases and 3,242 deaths

Italy 63,927 confirmed cases and 2,976 deaths

United States 42,164 confirmed cases and 

Spain 33.089 confirmed cases, 598 deaths

Germany 29,212 confirmed cases, 13 deaths

Iran 24,811 confirmed cases and 1,135 deaths

France 19,615 confirmed cases, 175 deaths

South Korea 9,037 confirmed cases, 84 deaths

Australia 2,318 confirmed cases and 8 deaths:
1,029 in New South Wales
466 in Victoria
443 in Queensland
175 in Western Australia
170 in South Australia
44 in ACT
26 in Tasmania
5 in Northern Territory

 

Friday March 20, 2020 - Travel Ban for Non-Residents, Guideline for Aged Care Facilities, Citizenship Ceremonies Cancelled

Travel Ban Starts Today

Starting from 9:00pm AEDT today, all non-residents and non-citizens will not be allowed to enter Australia. Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members will not be affected by the travel ban but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning in Australia.

 

Guidelines for Aged Care Facilities

Visiting restrictions have been put in place to protect residents and workers in aged care facilities, who are among some of the most vulnerable to the Coronavirus. The following restrictions have been imposed:

  • Visits will be limited to a short duration.
  • Visits will be limited to a maximum of two visitors at a time. These may be immediate social supports (family members, close friends) or professional service or advocacy.
  • Visits by children 16 years and under are not permitted except in special circumstances, as they are generally unable to comply with hygiene measures. Exemptions can be assessed on a case-by-case basis, for example, where the resident is in palliative care.
  • Visits will be conducted in a resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area designated by the facility, rather than communal areas where the risk of transmission to residents is greater.
  • No large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment, will be permitted.
  • No school groups of any size are allowed to visit.

Source: https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-workers-in-residential-aged-care-facilities.pdf

 

Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Cancelled

Following the Australian Government's advice against public gatherings, a majority of Australian Citizenship Ceremonies has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. This has caused significant delays for the affected future-citizens as they are not considered to be Australian citizens until they have attended a ceremony and made the pledge.

 

Thursday March 19, 2020 - Prime Minister Morrison announces a travel ban

 

Prime Minister Morrison today announced that a travel ban will be placed on all non-residents and non-Australian citizens coming into Australia from 9:00pm tomorrow. 

Deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly says there are no medicine shortages in Australia, but restrictions are being put in place immediately because unprecedented demand is putting strain on supplies. Importantly sales pof particular over-the-counter medicines, including Ventolin and paracetamol, will be limited to one unit per purchase.


Qantas has announced that it will stand down 20,000 of it's staff as it will suspend all scheduled international flights from later this month, following the latest Federal Government travel advice that Australians should not go overseas because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated statistics via World Health Organisation Situation Dashboard March 19, 2020:

Globally estimated at 207,855 confirmed cases and 8,648 deaths, 166 countries and territories with cases, 697 associated with Diamond Princess

Mainland China 81,174 cases and 3,242 deaths

Italy 35,713 confirmed cases and 2,976 deaths

Iran 17,361 confirmed cases and 1,135 deaths

Spain 13,716 confirmed cases, 598 deaths

South Korea 8,413 confirmed cases, 84 deaths

Spain 13,716 confirmed cases, 598 deaths

Germany 8,198 confirmed cases, 13 deaths

France 7,652 confirmed cases, 175 deaths

Australia 565 confirmed cases and 6 deaths:
265 in New South Wales
94 in Queensland
37 in South Australia
10 in Tasmania
121 in Victoria
35 in Western Australia
1 in ACT
0 in Northern Territory

 

 

Monday March 16, 2020 - Overseas Arrivals Must Self- Isolate for 14 days, VETASSESS cancels all offshore assessments

As of midnight last night all new overseas arrivals must isolate for two weeks, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also banned all Cruise Ships from foreign ports for 30days.

The ban of mass gatherings of 500 people will come into affect today and most states are implementing large fines and even jail time in New South Wales for those who choose to break self isolation orders ordered by

Health professionals. 

 

VETASSESS Update

VETASSESS has decided to cancel all offshore practical trade assessments effective immediately. Assessments for professional occupations are not affected by this, but it will affect these planned offshore

assessments for trades:

  • South Africa (27th March to 5th April, 2020) – Electrical, Air Conditioning Refrigeration Mechanic and Plumbing (General).

  • Philippines  (27 April - 1 May, 2020) - Automotive and Engineering Trades, Mechanical Engineering.

  • United Kingdom (13 - 14 May, 2020) - Electrician (General), Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic.

  • India (19 - 22 May, 2020) Electrician (General).

VETASSESS has advised Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) and they will contact the affected applicants who were planning to attend a VETASSESS offshore assessment venue immediately. 

VETASSESS will continue to conduct technical Interviews for applicants via online facilities (Adobe Connect).


Extra Work Hours Allowed for International Students

A positive note for international students, the Department of Home Affairs on Friday announced Australia’s major supermarkets such as Woolworths and Coles will temporarily be able to offer more hours to

international student employees to help keep shelves stocked.

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the changes would help supermarkets meet the immediate high demand.

Supermarkets around Australia are struggle to keep up with the extreme demand for household essentials like toilet paper and tissues and non-perishables such as rice, pasta and canned foods.

“To keep up with this demand, supermarkets have told us they need to give extra hours to current staff to stock shelves and serve Australian customers. While many of these will be Australian workers, international

students will also be able to increase their hours,” Mr Tudge said.

 

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At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Student Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business visas, Employer-Sponsored visas, Partner, and other Family Migration visas, as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review, and Ministerial Intervention. Based in Adelaide South Australia, our Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents provide migration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

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