Travel bans during covid-19

With travel bans still in place for Australia due to the coronavirus situation, visitors to Australia may be faced with the question of “Do I stay?” or “Do I go?”. If you are in Australia as a tourist on a temporary visa, you are only allowed to remain in Australia until your visa stay expiry date. With many airlines reducing or cancelling flights overseas, you may be wondering what do I do now?

The Department of Home Affairs has given general advice to all Visitor Visa and ETA holders to return to their home countries as quickly as possible. If you are unable to leave Australia as planned due to flight cancellations or lack of flight options, you must apply for a new visa before your visa expires to remain lawfully in the country.

Subclass 600 Visitor Visa

In some cases, you may be able to apply for a new Subclass 600 Visitor Visa to extend your stay in Australia for 3 or 6 months, depending on how much time you have already spent in Australia. You will need to show that you are a genuine tourist and have sufficient funds to support your continued stay in Australia.

No Further Stay

In some cases, you may have a “No Further Stay” condition on your current visa which prevents you from applying for another visa while you are in Australia. A request to DHA for this condition to be waived has to be approved before you can apply for another visa. Waivers are hard to get!  You have to prove that there has been major changes to your situation which were outside of your control and there are now compelling reasons for a longer stay in Australia. Even if you have very strong reasons for staying, DHA may still refuse your request. DHA is taking 28 days or more on waiver requests so act early if you are in this situation.

In other cases, you may be eligible to apply for a longer stay visa such as a Partner Visa if you are in a genuine relationship with an Australian and it is worth exploring other visa options.

Unlawful stay?

If your temporary visa has already expired, then you are now in Australia unlawfully. You must obtain another visa straight away to become lawful again.

Everyone’s circumstances will be different and the visa pathway for someone else may not be suitable for you. We provide timely immigration advice tailored for you.

Contact us

Contact Times Lawyers for an free initial consultation today. You can either call us on 07 3344 2888 or email us at info@timeslawyers.com.au.

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