COVID-19: Caught in Canberra by the virus?
03 Apr 2020
One of the hidden impacts of the quickly changing conditions associated with COVID-19, is temporary visa holders being stuck in Canberra when their visa runs out. Can they extend their visa?
‘No further stay’ conditions
There is no such thing in Australia as an ‘extension’ of a visa. One cannot ask the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to allow them to stay in Australia because of the travel ban.
A non-citizen can only be in Australia with a valid visa. If you cannot leave the country and your visa is about to expire, you must apply for a new visa.
If you can’t apply for a new visa because your current visa has a ‘No further stay’ condition attached, 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, you must request that the ‘No further stay’ condition be waived.
Gerald Santucci, registered migration agent (925628) and head of migration law at Snedden Hall & Gallop, said: “If DHA agrees to waive the ‘No further stay’ condition, you must then apply for a fresh visa. Once you apply for a visa onshore, you are granted a bridging visa that comes into effect when your current visa expires and before the fresh application is decided.”
Like everything else with the coronavirus, regulations may change. DHA is trying to make decisions as they go but the current regulations are not being reviewed in the light of the coronavirus.
For example, if a client’s visitor’s visa (subclass 600) expires on 6 April 2020 but their grant has a ‘8503’ (no further stay). By 6 April they will need to have both had that condition waived and applied for a new visa to remain lawful in Australia.
Mr Santucci, also said, “If you want to remain in Australia, but you have a ‘no further stay’ condition on your visa, , you must request that the ‘No further stay’ condition be waived by the Department of Home Affairs as Australia doesn’t automatically extend visas.”
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