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Can I Get Medicare on My Visa? Australian Visas Eligible for Medicare

Stethoscope Medicare


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having access to healthcare in Australia. If you require medical treatment, the out-of-pocket costs can put you under financial strain. If you reside in Australia and hold a valid visa, read more to find out if you are eligible for Medicare.


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Can Australian citizens and Permanent Residents travel overseas during COVID-19 travel bans?

Australian Citizen Travel Overseas during COVID

To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government has used the powers under the Biosecurity Act 2015 to prevent most travel out of Australia.

Travel Ban

The Government has banned Australian citizens and permanent residents from leaving Australia.
This is to prevent Australians from participating in the global spread of COVID-19 and to prevent them from
becoming infected overseas and returning to Australia with the virus (as Australian citizens and permanent residents are not affected by the incoming travel restrictions).
This is an important measure to help facilitate Australia’s plan to reduce the number of cases of COVID-19.

In many cases, this is a second layer of restriction, as many countries have restricted their incoming travel in a similar way to Australia.Australians looking to travel abroad at the moment may find it difficult to enter other countries, even where an outgoing travel exemption has been approved (see below).

Who is allowed to travel?

There are certain exempt persons allowed to travel.
Some are exempt by default, while others need to request an express exemption.

Those who are exempt by default or “generally exempt” are:
  • Residents of other countries
  • Aircraft or vessel crews
  • Freight workers
  • Essential offshore facility workers
  • Travellers on official government business

An exemption can be requested for persons who:
  • Are involved in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as aid workers
  • Are critical workers
  • Require urgent medical treatment which needs to be carried out outside of Australia
  • Have urgent/unavoidable “personal business”
  • Have compassionate or humanitarian reasons for doing so
  • Have a national interest reason to travel

All of these will need to be determined on a case-by-case basis and it is not necessarily clear who will fall within this and who will not.

If you plan to travel overseas in the next 3 months, travel exemption requests can be made here.

What’s the penalty for travelling without exemption?

There are very substantial penalties for breaching the requirements in the Determination.

The penalties for this can be up to 5 years of imprisonment or up to $63,000 of fines, not a sum to be taken lightly. Further, it does not appear that there is a discretion here: if you are not in one of the “general exemptions” (see below) or granted an express exemption and you do travel out of Australia in contravention of the Determination, you will have breached s 479 of the Biosecurity Act 2015.

This would include if you believe you have grounds for an express exemption, but this has not yet been given to you. As such, it is very important that you wait for an exemption before travelling out of Australia (unless you meet one of the “general exemptions”).

The mantra of it being better to “ask for forgiveness than permission” doesn’t apply here.

Other considerations

There are also heavy restrictions on travel into Australia.
The circumstances for which you can be exempted from these inbound restrictions are similarly restrictive to those above for outbound travel. In many circumstances, you will need to apply for an exemption to enter Australia or risk having your visa cancelled at the Australian border.

The circumstances for requesting an exemption include:

  • Immediate family of Australian citizens and permanent residents
  • Persons invited by the Government to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Those providing critical medical services
  • Persons with critical skills examples given are engineers, ship crews and specialised medical professionals
  • Certain diplomats
  • Where there are humanitarian or compassionate circumstances
  • An exemption must be applied for in the border restriction exemption webform, and a positive outcome must be received before travelling.


Do You Need Help?

If you meet the circumstances to request for a travel exemption, contact us for assistance. We have successfully obtained travel exemptions for our clients.

Contact us on +61 8 8351 9956 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Overseas Travel Ban Emergency Requirements) Determination 2020
Biosecurity Act 2015 



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Six Australian Visa Options Amongst COVID-19 Chaos

vosa opportunities blog

There are no shortages of negative news during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Work Visa Lawyers, we aim to take a positive approach. Below are six visa options that you may be eligible to apply for during these uncertain times.  

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Why the Australian Global Talent Independent Visa is so hot right now! 

Australian global talent independent visa subclass 124 and 858 visas

The Global Talent Independent Visa is a hot new initiative by the Australian government to encourage highly skilled workers to migrate to Australia.
We are seeing great interest in this visa from skilled professionals in Australia and around the world.

The Global Talent Independent Visa is great for many reasons, including:

  • Very fast processing

  • Straight to Australian permanent residency visa holder status

  • No expensive Skilling Australians Fund levy

  • No need for a job offer in Australia

  • Access to Medicare


Global Talent Independent Visa Processing Time

Australian permanent visa processing times can often be more than 12 months, sometimes up to almost 2 years. The GTI visa has one of the fastest processing times of all Australian permanent visas. 

At the Law Council's Immigration Law Conference on 20 March 2020, respresentatives from the Department of Home Affairs stated that applications under the GTI program are being given priority processing. Processing times vary from 2 day to 2 months with many being decided in one to two weeks!

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman has also signed Ministerial Direction no 85 in November 2019. Direction no. 85 enables the Department of Home Affairs to give priority processing for the Distinguished Talent cohort (subclasses 124 and 858) to “support the responsive processing of applicants that are identified as highly desirable by Government.”

The GTI program uses the Distinguished Talent subclass 858 and subclass 124 visas, but provides a new pathway to these by invitation.


Global Talent Post-Coronavirus

The recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shown how important Australian permanent residency visa status can be for receiving support in difficult times
and the right to enter Australia. The GTI program allows for the grant of a permanent visa in what is likely to be the fastest time of any program.

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has hinted at the potential development of the GTI program as an integral part of the Australian migration program for the 2020-21 migration year, post-pandemic. 

The Australian Government is keen to ensure its 5,000 spots are filled in the 2019/20 migration program year, which ends on 30 June 2020, so it is important that you get into the program while you can. 

If you are interested in coming to live in Australia and meet the high income threshold, the Global Talent Independent Visa Program is a great opportunity for
highly skilled individuals to migrate to Australia. It’s easy to see why the program is so hot right now!

Read more about the Global Talent Independent Visa on our website



Do you need help?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your Australian visa or appeal.

Based in Adelaide South Australia, we provide Australian Immigration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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Australian Partner Visas subclass 820 ,801, 300 and more - How to put together a good quality application, avoid long processing times.

Principal Chris Johnston walks you through how to put together a quality Partner Visa Application

to give yourselves the best chance for a sucessful and speedy visa processing time.

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Coronavirus response - State Governments Step Up to Support International Student - SA, NT, ACT, Victoria & NSW

International uni students

Support for International Students 

International students in Australia are ineligible for the welfare payments and income supplements that were recently announced by the Federal Government. Currently, the JobSeeker and JobKeeper schemes are accessible by Australian citizens, permanent residents and subclass 444 visa holders.

Income assistance has not been provided to international students at the federal level. The following state governments are stepping up to help students facing financial hardship during these unprecedented times:

South Australia

The South Australian Government has announced a new $13.8 million International Student Support Package for South Australian-based international students. There are three components to the package:

1. Public Universities - University of Adelaide, Flinders University & the University of South Australia

The South Australian Government will match funding by the state’s three public universities to allocate to their international students.

Students studying at one of the three universities can apply for support by contacting their university.


2. Other International Students

Other students not studying at a public university will be given a $500 emergency cash grant. Eligibility criteria are still being formalized but the grant will be available to the following students through the Department of Human Services:

  • English language students (excluding students on packaged programs with one of South Australia’s three public Universities)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) students
  • Higher education students studying with one of South Australia’s private higher-education institutions

Register your interest here and the link to the application form will be sent to you as soon as it is available.


3. School Students

Homestay families of school students in South Australia will receive a one-off $200 payment to help support accommodation for school students.



Northern Territory

On 3 April 2020, the Northern Territory Government announced the Worker and Wellbeing Fund to support international students who have lost their jobs or have had their income reduced due to Coronavirus restrictions.

How to Apply 

Contact Red Cross on +61 403 987 018 to access emergency relief and support

For more information, read the factsheet here.



International Students Emergency Relief Fund

International students experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for relief funding by the Victorian government. Payments of up to $1,100 will be made to eligible students.

How to Apply

If you are enrolled in a public university or TAFE, contact the student support services team of your education provider to apply. Click here for more information.

If you are enrolled in a private education provider or college, click here to apply. Check if your education provider is eligible here.


Rent Relief Grant

The Victorian Government has established an $80 million rental assistance fund to provide rent relief payments of up to $2000 to Victorians experiencing rental hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To be eligible for the grant you will need to have:

  • Registered a revised rental agreement with Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • Have less than $5,000 in savings (excluding superannuation)
  • Have an income of less than $1,903 per week before tax
  • Be paying more than 30% of your income in rent

You will also need to show a significant change in your financial circumstances such as loss of employment or working hours and/or pay reduced by 20% or more.

How to Apply

Click here to lodge an online application.


Working for Victoria Program

The Victorian Government is creating job opportunities for international students through its $500 million Working for Victoria program. In addition, the state government is facilitating online training to enhance skills as part of the program. There are two types of training offered:

  • do a free short online training unit in an area where Victorian employers are currently looking for workers
  • do a free TAFE course that leads to a recognised qualification in an area where Victorian employers are likely to be looking for workers as the economy recovers. (Tuition is free, but you may need to pay materials and student services fees.)

How to Apply

International students with working rights are eligible to apply. Register online on Sidekicker for job opportunities and training availabilities.


Australian Capital Territory

On 20 April 2020, the ACT announced a $20 million Jobs for Canberrans fund to provide employment opportunities with the ACT Public Service. To be eligible to apply for roles, people must have lost their job, or have been significantly impacted as a result of COVID-19.

Priority for jobs will be given to those who are ineligible for existing Federal Government support, including international students.

How to Apply

Register for an account here to be notified of vacancies and apply for jobs.

These are the current job opportunities under this program:



On 22 April 2020 the Tasmanian Government unveiled a $3 million package to support 26,000 temporary visa holders affected by the Coronvirus pandemic in Tasmania. These visa holders include students, fruit pickers and skilled workers.

The package is to be rolled out in four stages:

  1. One-off payment of $250 for individuals and up to $1,000 for families who are experiencing immediate financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus
  2. Emergency relief funds to non-governmental organisations that assist temporary visa holders
  3. Financial support and travel advice for temporary visa holders who can return to their home country
  4. Help employers retain their temporary visa holding employees

How to Apply

Visa holders wishing to access the assistance grants or are wanting to return to their home country should call the Public Hotline on 1800 671 738


New South Wales

On 15 May 2020, the NSW government announced a $20 million temporary funding package for stranded international students.

The package includes:

  1. Crisis accommodation through student accommodation or homestay providers 
  2. A 24/7 internatioanl student support hotline (call 13 77 88) to offer free legal, medical/mental health advice and emergency support
  3. Free subscriptions to the 'My Legal Mate' student app which is available in many languages

Accommodation is available to international students with genuine need and meet all of the following criteria:

  • have been evicted or are faving imminent eviction
  • have evidence of being laid off employment
  • have less than $1,500 in savings and no other avenues of support

How to Apply

International students in need can call 13 77 88, the NSW Government hotline to find out more.

Students can also contact their education provider to be referred to crisis accommodation support programs, such as the International Student Support Network through the Australian Homestay Network.



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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Skillselect round results Devastation - April 2020 – Accountants to 100 points only 50 visa subclass189 offers

Skillselect April 2020

Summary and Comments by Chris Johnston, Lawyer and RMA:

The 11 April 2020 Skillselect round is the first round after the closure of the borders on 20 March 2020.

So it shows us the policy direction of the Government. The direction is to cut skilled migration dramatically.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impacts and Update for Australian State Sponsored Visas Subclasses 491 & 190

Australian Map State Migration Nomination

The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted the situation for those who have applied for or who are looking to apply for a state sponsored, skilled visa.

Many states have made changes to reduce the availability of state nomination for offshore applicants, as offshore applicants will not be able to travel

to Australia until the border and travel restrictions are lifted.

In this article we will look at the changes to state nomination state by state and the impact of coronavirus on skilled migration.

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Can Indigenous Australians be deported?

Indigenous AustralianCitizenship

Love v The Commonwealth; Thoms v Commonwealth [2020] HCA 3 for full judgement please go to:

Who is an Aboriginal Australian? And should Aboriginal Australians be treated differently to other groups in Australia?

The High Court recently considered whether two men who were born outside of Australia and were not Australian citizens, but had spent most of their lives in Australia,

where within the reach of the “aliens power” conferred by s 51(Xix) of the Constitution.


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How Does the Coronavirus Affect Your Temporary Visa? Students, Backpackers, 482 visa and New Zealanders

Coronavirus Temporary Visa Holders
On Saturday 4 April 2020, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge, made the following announcements for those holding temporary visas in Australia.
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Our South Australia Immigration Lawyers

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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Contact us on (+61 8) 8351 9956

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