Coronavirus forces changes to Australia visa
06 Apr 2020
The Australian Department of Home Affairs has announced that for a limited time, there will be temporary changes to certain visa arrangements. This decision has been made to further support the Australian farmers and the wider agricultural sector. These changes apply to Working Holiday Makers, Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme visa holders. Please read below for more information.
Temporary visa holders:
Working holiday makers whom are employed in critical sectors including agriculture, health, aged and disability care and childcare are to be exempt from the six month work limitation with a single employer.
Working holiday makers employed in critical sectors whom have not finished the 3 or 6 months of specified work that is required to apply for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa, and are not able to leave Australia, may now be eligible for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream) visa. The temporary activity visa will allow working holiday makers to lawfully remain in Australia, and continue working, until they can return to their home country.
People already in Australia with the Seasonal Worker Program whose visas are expiring, will be able to extend their stay in Australia by applying for the Temporary Activity (subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream) visa.
Holders of other temporary work visas who are currently employed in critical sectors, might also be eligible for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream) visa.
Permanent visa holders:
Permanent residents of Australia are allowed to return to Australia. They are required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (e.g. a hotel), in their port of arrival. This includes people offshore who have been granted a permanent visa but have not yet arrived in Australia on that visa.
If you are unable to enter before the Initial Entry Date shown on your visa, you must contact the departmental office that granted you your visa, but only when you are able to travel. The Initial Entry Date cannot be extended.
However, the government will allow permanent and Partner provisional visa holders to enter Australia after the Initial Entry Date has passed, if the visa is valid and the holder continues to meet all other visa requirements and conditions.