Visitor Visas
March 19, 2020

Bridging visa B and visitor visa applicants affected amidst upcoming Travel Ban

The Australian Prime Minister has just announced that a travel ban will be imposed on all non-resident and non-Australian citizens coming into Australia from 9:00pm (AEST) tomorrow in view of threats posed by Covid-19, except direct family members of Australian PRs and citizens.

If you fall into the above category and are thinking of applying for a bridging visa B, please reconsider as you may not be granted one. In the very unlikely situation that you were, you may not be allowed back into the country. This could also mean potential visa cancellation if you were not able to return to Australia by a certain deadline.

If you are currently on a bridging visa B and outside of Australia, please check on your visa document to find out the date that you need to return to Australia by.

If you are currently in Australia on a temporary visa such as a visitor visa or student visa which is going to expire soon, please seek immigration advice on how to extend your stay further in the best way possible.

If you are already on a visitor visa or working holiday visa and would like to apply for subsequent visas, please note that it will still be important for the Department to come to the understanding that you are not using the visitor visa program to establish “de facto residence” in Australia. In other words, there is going to be a higher onus on you to prove that you are a genuine temporary entrant as you have stayed in Australia on a working holiday visa for 12 months, which could lead to the impression that you’re looking to establish “de facto residence” according to the migration regulations. There is also a very small chance that you may be given a No Further Stay 8503 condition on this visa grant, which stops you from applying for any subsequent visas onshore.

Under the relevant legislation and policy, an applicant cannot, except in exceptional circumstances, stay in Australia for more than 12 months on consecutive visitor visas, Working Holiday or Work and Holiday visas. It could be argued that the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis is an "exceptional circumstance". You as the visa applicant will bear the onus of proving the exceptional circumstance.

This is understandably a very stressful period rife with uncertainties. Here at Kin Migration, we are available to help you sort your options out amidst the complicated and ever-changing immigration landscape. Get advice today from an expert registered migration advisor to understand your options clearly. Click here to book a qualifying session with us over the phone or Skype.

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