Hi to All, Please take extra care guys wherever you are, take care of your love ones too. Especially to our friends in Singapore, more being confirmed, and are through community spread, no longer from people who travelled from China. Observe proper hygiene at all times and also monitor our little ones as they often put their hands in their mouth.
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Coronavirus and Australian visas update

COVID-19 (Novel coronavirus) has affected both for Australian visa holders and those who are waiting to be issued their Australian visas. Here we discuss some of these:

Student visa holders able to work more hours 

In an effort to meet the high demand for essential items at major supermarkets the Australian government announced that international students currently employed at these supermarkets will be able to extend their working hours.

Normally an international student must not engage in work in Australia for more than 40 hours a fortnight during any fortnight when the holder’s course of study or training is in session.

The measures will be administered by the Department of Home Affairs and are available to major supermarkets including Woolworths and Coles, and only for existing employees in their existing roles. Other supermarkets are able to register with the Department if they believe the changes will assist them.

This initiative will give international students more flexibility to work while studying and also allow employers to meet demand during a busy period. Employers are still required to abide by all relevant Australian workplace laws. Students have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.

During this period, the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force officers:

  • will exercise their discretion under s116(1)(b) of the Migration Act 1958 to not cancel the visas of students who work in excess of 40 hours each fortnight to support your organisation in providing goods to the Australian community through your supermarkets; and
  • will not refer you, as an employer, for investigation of any potential breach of s245AC of the Migration Act 1958 that might relate to the hours worked by a student visa holder.

All employment must continue to occur strictly in accordance with Australian workplace law. Employers must not make arrangements for student visa holders to work under this measure (in excess of 40 hours per fortnight) until you receive authorisation from DHA.

No Further Stay Condition (8503) and Coronavirus

If you are a visa holder in Australia and your current visa has the ‘No Further Stay’ condition attached? Can I stay in Australia? If your current visa includes a ‘No Further Stay’ condition (includes 8503, 8534 and 8535), you are unable to make a valid application for most other visas while you are in Australia. If you wish to remain in Australia beyond your visa’s expiry date, a request to waive this condition must be made.

The circumstances in which the minister might waive a ‘No Further Stay’ condition are:

  1. since the person was granted the visa that was subject to the condition, compelling and compassionate circumstances have developed:
    1. over which the person had no control
    2. that resulted in a major change to the person’s circumstances
  2. if the minister has previously refused to waive the condition, the minister is satisfied that the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (a) are substantially different from those considered previously
  3. if the person asks the minister to waive the condition, the request is in writing.

As the travel restrictions mentioned above are beyond the applicants control these can be considered “Compelling and Compassionate and therefore applicants from countries who have been affected by travel restrictions caused by Coronavirus may be able to apply for a waiver of the 8503 condition.

No Further Stay Condition (8503) waiver

For a waiver to be granted, the circumstances that have developed since the visa was granted must be both compelling and compassionate.

“Compelling and compassionate” circumstances can be understood as circumstances that:

  • are sufficiently forceful and convincing for the condition to be waived
  • are not unreasonable (in that no reasonable decision-maker could conclude that the circumstances are not compelling) and
  • give rise to feelings of sympathy for the suffering or misfortune of others.

The current travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 may meet the above definition for some visa holders.

Travel and Immigration Disruption- Australia
  • Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who have been in mainland China, South Korea, Iran or Italy will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited any of those countries.
  • Citizens and permanent residents of Australia and their immediate family members who enter Australia and who have been in mainland China, Iran or South Korea, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the time they left mainland China, Iran, Italy or South Korea.
  • Temporary visa holders (such as the TSS 482 visa /457 visa holders) who are ineligible for entry into Australia under these measures will have their visa canceled. Arrangements will be made to reinstate visas as appropriate following the lifting of these enhanced border control measures.

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The post Coronavirus and Australian visas update appeared first on Australian Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers Melbourne | SeekVisa.


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