An update from the Australian Government

In a further update to the Australian Government’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the travel ban which was introduced on 1 February 2020, will remain in place until at least 22 February 2020. It will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

Visa holders who remain offshore with impeding visa expiry dates should allow sufficient time to re-apply for a new visa or an extension on their current visa.

Onshore visa holders who seek to remain in Australia and who are subject to a no further stay condition (thus preventing a further visa application from being made onshore) who are seeking to have this condition waived should do so before applying for a new visa. The current approximate wait time to waive visa condition 8503 is approximately 28 days.

Applicants in mainland China should not apply for an eVisitor due to the travel restrictions. However, immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident may continue to apply for a Subclass 600 Visitor Visa.

International students who are affected by the travel ban and therefore remain offshore should contact their education provider to discuss their options going forward (measures have been put in place by the various providers).

The joint media release by the Prime Minister and Health Minister notifying of the extended travel ban can be accessed here: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/extension-travel-ban-protect-australians-coronavirus

The Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, as also announced that mental health support is now available to affected international students, with the establishment of call centres to answer students’ questions about their health and education.

For further information on these services, please refer to the Minister’s media release here: https://ministers.education.gov.au/tehan/mental-health-support-international-students


Under new measures announced by the Australian Government in response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, certain travellers to Australia from mainland China will be subject to entry restrictions, effective from 1 February 2020. Travellers who have departed or transitioned through China at any time from 1 February 2020 will not be permitted to enter Australia. These new rules do not apply to:

  • Australian citizens;
  • Australian permanent residents; and
  • immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents, including spouses, minor dependents and legal guardians.

If exempted family members have been in mainland China, they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the time they left mainland China.

Travellers who are subject to these restrictions will not be able to board a flight to Australia. Those who do arrive in Australia will have their visa cancelled and will be placed in immigration detention for quarantine. All affected temporary visa holders will have their visas cancelled. 

Foreign nationals who were in mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australia until 14 days after they have left, or transited through, mainland China.

For travellers who are permitted to enter Australia, a 14-day period of self-isolation is required from the date of departure from mainland China. 

Impact on Student Visas

Student visa holders who are unable to return to Australia as a result of these measures should contact their education provider to discuss other options, such as deferring their studies. Student visa holders who are already in Australia and who have a pending visa expiry cannot have their visa extended. If eligible, they can apply for a new Student visa or other visa onshore. If ineligible, they must depart Australia by the visa expiry date.

Contact us to book a no-obligation consultation for your student visa!

Impact on Pending Visas and New Visas

Visa holders in Australia with a pending visa expiry can apply for a new visa (if eligible) if they seek to remain in Australia. Affected visa holders who are unable to enter Australia before their current visa expires cannot extend their visa period; they will need to apply for a new visa (subject to the above entry restrictions).

These measures are temporary and will be reviewed in the next fortnight. 

Get More Information and Updates

For further information about the coronavirus and safe travel outside Australia, please refer to Department of Health and Smart Traveller updates.

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References

Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs, Immigration and Citizenship, Australian Government travel restrictions 1 February 2020, News, 01 Feb 2020 Novel coronavirus and Australian visas

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/archive/article?itemId=355

Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs, Immigration and Citizenship, Australian Government travel restrictions 1 February 2020, News, 01 Feb 2020 Novel coronavirus and Australian visas – Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for student visa holders – 1 February 2020

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/archive/article?itemId=355#

Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs, Immigration and Citizenship, Australian Government travel restrictions 1 February 2020, News, 01 Feb 2020 Novel coronavirus and Australian visas – Fact sheet – Novel coronavirus – Information for visa holders and applicants – 1 February 2020

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/archive/article?itemId=355#

Australian Government, Department of Health – Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

Smartaveller.com.au

https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/