Covid-19 [Permission to Travel]

Covid-19 [Permission to Travel]

Covid-19 has presented a unique set of challenges for Australian immigration law. People have been required to stay in Australia because they cannot leave and require visas, people have been forced apart because a loved one is overseas, people want to leave Australia but sometimes can’t. Visa Migration Services Australia has been assisting people since the pandemic started.

It is extremely important to get advice from immigration legal advisors.

VMSA has encountered many people who made visa applications in Australia that have gone wrong. They thought they were doing the right thing but, because they have not understood the intricacies of Australian immigration law, have taken the wrong steps resulting them in becoming Unlawful Non-Citizens.

VMSA has assisted with:

  1. Visa advice
    Find the appropriate visa for you to stay in Australia and remain lawful.
  2. Permission to leave Australia.
    If you need to leave Australia, you need permission. Remarkably, Australian Border Force refuses many requests to leave Australia. If you request to leave Australia has been refused or you need help to apply, contact VMSA as we have fixed this matter for many people.
  3. Permission to Enter Australia
    Covid has forced many people apart, particularly couples. VMSA has worked with many couples to be reunited and for workers to enter Australia.

Covid Questions and Answers

  1. How long does permission to leave Australia take?
    It varies, but VMSA has had decisions made within the day.
  2. What is the 408 Covid Visa?
    See below.
  3. Can I stay in Australia and get work rights?
    In some cases yes. This can be via the Visa Subclass 408 (see below) or other visa applications.
  4. How long will it take for my permission to travel to enter Australia?
    This varies and can be weeks to months. VMSA gives no guarantees as the DoHA and ABF change their processing times.
  5. My case is urgent – can you help?
    In urgent matters, VMSA can assist and we have done so. It is complex and you should speak with us and we can review what should be done.
  6. I made the wrong visa application and I’m unlawful – what happens?
    Speak to VMSA immediately. There may be other options for you to apply for an Australian substantive visa, you may need to apply for a Bridging Visa E to become lawful.

Visa Subclass 408 – Special Events Visa

The 408 is often called the Covid Visa. It is not a Covid Visa. The 408 is a visa enabling people to attend a special event in Australia (eg. a Cricket World Cup). The Australian government smartly categorised the pandemic as a special event enabling people to apply for the visa to stay in Australia.

  1. Anyone can apply for the visa if they have no other visa to apply for.
  2. Applications are to be lodged 28 days before or after your visa ceases.
  3. You can get work rights with the visa.
  4. You will need to provide a health and police check.
  5. The visa is a NIL cost visa.
  6. If you hold a 408 you can make an application for another 408 before your visa ceases.

408 Questions and Answers

  1. I’ve heard only people such as nurses can get the visa?
    No that is not the case, anyone can make an application. Priority processing is given to those with work and are in critical sectors.
  2. How long does the visa last for?
    If you don’t have work it is mostly for three months. If you have work it can be up to 12 months. But it is important to note – if the Australian government removes Covid as being a special event for the 408 visa, the visa holder will have 35 days to either leave Australia or find another visa.