COVID-19 Immigration Update

By 24 March 2020August 18th, 2020No Comments

During these difficult times we sincerely hope everyone is ok.

We are liaising with Government and our clients to work out the best way through the current crisis and wanted to bring you the latest information and insights.

Travel ban
The travel ban was extended last Friday to effectively exclude all temporary visa holders. There has been no broadening of this policy and in fact it seems to be tightening. Under the current ban, temporary visa holders including TSS and 457 cannot re-enter Australia until this ban is lifted.

There are very limited exceptions and these are being looked at on a case by case basis by the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF). Any exemption must be requested BEFORE travelling to Australia and it will be extremely difficult to obtain. Further information on the exemptions can be found here.

Offshore Processing
We expect that all offshore processing of visas will soon be placed on hold. Many clients are choosing to continue lodging applications to be at the head of the queue as soon as processing resumes. We will work with your business to determine the best approach.

Expiring Visa Holders
Visa holders in Australia will need to lodge a new visa application before the current visa expires or they will become unlawful. There is no current exception to this rule. We will be working with clients and visa holders to ensure that all visa holders remain lawful. If you have concerns about any employee, please let us know.

Redundancies and Stand Downs
Our thoughts are with all of our clients in the hospitality sector and others who have been left with no choice but to make staff redundant or stand them down.

We are starting to receive a large number of enquiries from worried clients and former employees and have made representations to Government suggesting some simple changes to the current rules and polices that would help greatly until we are all through this. If you need assistance or would like to understand what we are doing please contact us.

Support
We will be providing the following complimentary services to support employers and visa holders during the crisis:

For employers

  • FAQ that will be updated as information comes to hand.
  • Free webinar on Thursday, 26 March at 10am AEDT which will explain the latest advice and policies.
    Reserve your spot now.

For visa holders (please circulate to them as required)

  • FAQ that will be updated as information comes to hand.
  • Free webinar on Thursday, 26 March at 12 noon AEDT which will explain the latest advice and policies. Your employees can reserve a spot here.

For visa holders and other individuals wanting more personalised visa advice, they can book a consultation with one of our lawyers.

If you know of people needing assistance please feel free to pass on any of the above free resources.

If there is any other way we can assist you at this difficult time please let us know.

DISCLAIMER This information is current as of 24 March 2020 and subject to change. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, Ajuria Lawyers and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Have more specific questions about your visa? Get in touch with Ajuria Lawyers today.

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Author Ron Kessels

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