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Over the weekend, the Australian Government announced a temporary visa concession for student visa holders. Supermarkets in States and Territories subject to COVID-19 lockdowns will be able to employ student visa holders in excess of the 40 hours per fortnight cap that normally applies. This will allow international students holding student visas to work over 40 hours per fortnight in all NSW and Victorian supermarkets and associated distribution facilities for the duration of the lockdown.
Australia’s National Cabinet agreed today to temporarily reduce Australia’s current international passenger arrivals by 50% (to 3085 arrivals per week) to manage pressure on quarantine facilities. Reduced passenger caps will come into effect on Wednesday 14 July and remain in place until 31 August. These reduced caps will remain subject to regular review throughout the remainder of 2021.
During today’s meeting, the National Cabinet also agreed, in-principle, to a four phase national plan to navigate Australia’s response to COVID-19. Each phase is triggered by the achievement of a vaccination threshold, and the potential impact on international travel is highlighted below.
1. Current phase - vaccinate, prepare and pilot. For international travel, this phase includes:
2. Post vaccination phase - for international travel, this phase may include:
3. Consolidation phase - for international travel, this phase may include:
4. Final phase - for international travel, this phase may include:
The Australian Minister for Immigration announced the addition of the following new occupations to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) today:
Accountant (General) (221111)
Accountant (Taxation) (221113)
Accountant (Management) (221112)
External Auditor (221213)
Internal Auditor (221214)
Electrical Engineer (233311)
Civil Engineer (233211)
Structural Engineer (233214)
Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
Transport Engineer (233215)
Mining Engineer (233611)
Petroleum Engineer (233612)
Other Spatial Scientist (232214)
Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)
Orthotist / Prosthetist (251912)
Multimedia Specialist (261211)
Analyst Programmer (261311)
Software and Applications Programmers (261399)
ICT Security Specialist (262112)
These new occupations bring the PMSOL to 41 occupations in total. 482 visa applicants who are sponsored by Australian businesses in a PMSOL occupation can access priority processing and easier access to travel exemptions in order to enter and work in Australia. The existing skilled occupation lists (the STSOL and MLTSSL) remain active and 482 visa applications based on these lists will continue to be processed. However, 482 visa applications based on the PMSOL will be given priority. Visa holders on PMSOL occupations will continue to be subject to Australia’s quarantine requirements.
Please contact your PwC immigration representative for further detail.
The Australian Government has announced Australia’s current border restrictions will be extended until 17 September 2021. Officially known as the human biosecurity emergency period under the Biosecurity Act 2015, the continuation of border restrictions means the Australian Government may take necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including travel restrictions to and from Australia unless a travel exemption is in place. Please contact PwC Australia’s immigration team for further details.
From today, travellers who have been in India for the 14 days before their departure cannot enter Australia before 15 May 2021. This includes Australian citizens, permanent residents and New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia. Very limited exemptions apply (mainly for flight and medical crew and diplomatic staff).
Failure to comply with this emergency determination may incur a civil penalty or five years’ imprisonment or both.
Australia will reconsider flights from India on 15 May following advice from its Chief Medical Officer.
Direct passenger flights from India to Australia will be paused until 15 May. Indirect flights from India to Australia through Doha, Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur have also been paused by their respective governments.
Travel exemptions in order to travel from Australia to India and other high risk COVID-19 countries (yet to be announced) will only be granted in very limited circumstances going forward. This includes:
critical workers providing assistance to the country of destination’s COVID-19 response;
persons undertaking travel in Australia’s national interest; or
persons seeking urgent medical treatment for a critical illness that is unable to be treated in Australia.
Inbound travel exemptions from India to Australia may also be reconsidered in line with this policy change.
The Prime Minister announced that when and if flights from India are resumed, all passengers will be required to have both a negative PCR test and a negative rapid antigen test prior to travel.
Yesterday the Australian Prime Minister announced that additional restrictions would be placed on travellers (including Australian citizens and permanent residents) entering Australia from high risk countries:
Anyone entering Australia who has been in a high risk country in the last 14 days before entering Australia and is transiting through a third country will need to return a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to entering Australia from the final point of embarkation.
The Government will further restrict outbound travel exemptions to high risk countries to strictly essential travel only.
The Australian government will soon release a list of countries it deems as high risk. In the meantime, the following measures are being introduced as protection against the significant increase of COVID-19 cases in India:
30% less commercial flights direct from India to Australia, as soon as practicable, and
Reduction in the number of passengers on Government facilitated flights to Australia until the rate of COVID-19 cases in India have decreased, and
Approximately 30% less capacity for Australians returning from India on Government-facilitated flights during May 2021, and
Australia will seek Rapid Antigen Testing for Australians returning on direct flights from high risk countries.
These actions are consistent with announcements from other countries, with New Zealand and the UK recently announcing travel suspensions/restrictions from India for the time being.
These developments will impact on how travel exemptions are issued for travellers coming from high risk countries. We will update this site with a list of high risk countries as soon as available. In the meantime, please contact your PwC Australia immigration team representative if you would like to discuss.
Quarantine Free Travel (QFT) will commence between New Zealand and Australia as of 18 April 2021 at 11:59pm. This means that families can be reunited, tourism will get a boost and equally importantly, Australian and New Zealand businesses can recruit much needed skills and talent from each other.
From now, (visa applications can be lodged immediately), New Zealand employers who identify candidates they wish to employ who are in Australia, no longer need to go through the border exception and critical worker visa application process. As a New Zealand employer, anyone recruited from Australia may enter New Zealand (as long as they meet pre-travel criteria) without going through mandatory isolation and quarantine and by meeting pre-COVID-19 visa requirements.
In order to qualify for QFT to New Zealand a traveller must:
hold a valid New Zealand electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) (if eligible to travel visa waiver) and apply for a visa on arrival at the border,
apply for and hold a current visa before travel, or
if an Australian citizen, travel visa-waiver and apply for a resident visa on arrival at the border.
To travel to New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight, you must meet pre-travel criteria and also complete an online travel declaration before you travel. This declaration is being finalised and will be available from 14 April.
Similarly, travellers who have been in New Zealand for 14 days are permitted to travel by air to Australia quarantine-free, without applying for a travel exemption. An Australian Travel Declaration must be completed at least 72 hours before travel to Australia.
For Australian and New Zealand employers, the borders are now open for skills and talent from across the pond. Immigration New Zealand will accept visa applications from non-Australian citizens who are currently in Australia (and have been for at least 14 days) to apply for visas from offshore. These travellers/applicants must be in Australia when they apply and must travel to New Zealand from a QFT area. In Australia, the Department of Home Affairs also accepts visa applications from applicants located offshore.
Please contact your PwC Australia immigration representative if you would like any further information.
The outbound travel ban on Australian citizens and permanent residents travelling from Australia to New Zealand has been lifted. Travellers must have been present in Australia for 14 days immediately before travel to New Zealand (applies to direct travel only). No outbound travel exemption from Australia is required.
So far New Zealand has not confirmed quarantine free travel for Australians. For now a New Zealand travel exemption (except for Australians normally resident in New Zealand) and mandatory quarantine is still required for Australian citizens and permanent residents travelling to New Zealand. Please check back for further details soon.
The Australian Government has announced Australia’s current border restrictions will be extended until 17 June 2021. Officially known as the human biosecurity emergency period under the Biosecurity Act 2015, the continuation of border restrictions means current requirements to obtain an exemption to travel to and from Australia in certain circumstances remains in place. Please contact PwC Australia’s immigration team for further details.
Global Talent Independent Visa Update
The Australian Government continues to expand its Global Talent visa program and is now accepting candidates from the following updated list of target sectors:
Candidates in these fields must demonstrate they can attract a high income or are high calibre PhD graduates.
PwC has a strong track record in the global talent visa sector, so please contact us if you would like to discuss the process and requirements in detail.
Temporary concessions for certain offshore visa categories
Further to our 1 February update, temporary concessions have been announced for some visa categories which usually require the applicant to be outside of Australia at the time of visa grant. The following visa categories can be granted to applicants who are in Australia and are unable to leave due to COVID-19 travel restrictions from these dates:
From 27 February 2021
From 24 March 2021
Today the Australian National Cabinet agreed to increase international passenger caps from 15 February. From this date, the incoming caps per state will be as follows:
New South Wales - 3010 passengers per week
Queensland - 1000 passengers per week
Western Australia - 512 passengers per week
Victoria - 1310 passengers per week
South Australia - 530 passengers per week
The Prime Minister affirmed that Australia’s mandatory hotel quarantine requirement is likely to continue, regardless of whether or not a traveller has had the COVID-19 vaccination.
Pre-travel COVID-19 and international passenger caps
Updated border rules have been introduced since the new year in response to recent COVID-19 clusters in Australia as well as COVID-19 variant strains overseas.
Before travelling to Australia, all individuals (including Australian citizens) must now:
International passenger caps to Australia have also been reduced until 15 February.
The Australian Government is committed to returning international passenger caps to previous levels after 15 February.
Exemptions to travel restrictions are still required in most cases to depart and arrive in Australia. Mandatory quarantine for 14 days is also still required upon arrival in Australia (please see our update from 17 July for applicable quarantine fees).
Green zone flights between New Zealand and Australia
“Green zone” flights between New Zealand and Australia have now been reinstated following three confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Zealand. From 31 January, additional conditions apply to travellers arriving in Australia green zone flights, including COVID-19 testing for impacted passengers. These conditions will remain in place until 10 February 2021.
Concessions for parent visas
The Minister for Immigration has announced it will allow certain parent visa applicants to be onshore (i.e. in Australia) at the time their visa is granted due to COVID-19. This concession should take effect sometime in early 2021, and will apply to the following parent visa subclasses:
Please contact PwC Australia’s immigration team for further information, and please bookmark this site for further updates.
Australian travel declaration
The Australian Government has introduced an online travel declaration that needs to be completed by all travellers entering Australia (this includes Australian citizens and those who are exempt from travel restrictions). The Australia Travel Declaration is separate to the Australian Border Force (ABF) travel exemption approval.
The purpose of the declaration is to collect travellers’ contact details, flight details, quarantine requirements and health status. This information helps the Australian Government determine quarantine arrangements (if required) and allows relevant health departments to contact the traveller if there is a positive test for COVID-19.
Travellers must complete and submit the travel declaration online at least 72 hours prior to arrival in Australia. A link to the travel declaration can be found here.
New occupation added to the PMSOL
Social Worker (ANZSCO 272511) is the newest occupation added to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). This addition to the PMSOL was based on advice from the National Skills Commission (NSC). The NSC has recently been created to advise the Australian government on the national labour market, workforce changes and current and emerging skills needs, including the composition of the skilled occupation lists which underpin Australia’s skilled migration program.
Businesses which sponsor foreign workers to a PMSOL occupation are able to access priority visa processing. In addition, the visa applicant themselves can more easily access travel exemptions in order to enter Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the existing skilled occupation lists (the STSOL and MLTSSL) remain active, PMSOL applications will be given priority.
Concession for certain family visa applicants
The Department of Home Affairs has announced it will allow certain family visa applicants to be onshore (i.e. in Australia) at the time their visa is granted. The specific visa types in question normally require applicants to be outside of Australia at the time of visa approval. However a temporary concession will be made for applicants who are currently in Australia and are not able to travel overseas for visa grant due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This concession will be available from early 2021 and will apply to the following family visa subclasses:
Please contact your PwC Australia immigration representative if you would like to further information or to discuss.
Earlier this year, the Australian Government announced that concessions would be made available to sponsored visa holders impacted by the sudden COVID-19-related downturn. Some of these concessions have now been formalised, and we have summarised them below.
Impact of COVID-19-related reduced working hours or stand down on employer sponsored permanent residence under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
Many employers were forced to stand-down or reduce the hours of their staff (including visa holders) due to COVID-19. For the purposes of ENS under the temporary residence transition (TRT) stream, periods of work that are not full-time could not generally be counted towards the required employment period.
Under the COVID-19 concessions, periods of unpaid/reduced hours work or employment stand-down can now count towards the required employment period.
The period of unpaid/reduced hours work or stand-down must have occurred after 1 February 2020 as a result of COVID-19. This concession applies to ENS (TRT stream) applications lodged after 1 February 2020 and still pending.
Impact on ENS applicants relying on age exemptions during COVID-19
For ENS (TRT stream) applicants who are over the age limit of 45 years, an age exemption exists if they have been considered a high income earner (the current high income threshold is $153,600 per annum).
If an individual was previously earning at the threshold, and their income was impacted by COVID-19, a concession now applies allowing them to access the age exemption in spite of their income reduction. A pro-rata income threshold for the period earnings were impacted by COVID-19 may apply.
The period of income reduction must have occurred after 1 February 2020 as a result of COVID-19. This concession applies to ENS (TRT stream) applications lodged after 1 February 2020 and still pending.
Labour Market Testing (LMT) for ENS
Further to our October update, the Department of Home Affairs has provided some clarity around its expectation for Labour Market Testing (LMT) in relation to ENS applications. Given the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, the Government is keen to ensure Australian workers are prioritised for jobs and will therefore scrutinise ENS applications closely. Factors that will be taken into account to show a genuine need for an ENS application include:
Demonstrating a genuine need is now more crucial than ever for ENS applications. If you have any questions about how to demonstrate genuine need, or if you have not advertised your role, please contact your PwC Australia immigration representative for assistance.
Global Talent Independent Program (GTIP)
The popularity of the GTIP continues, and it has quickly become the Australian Government’s preferred pathway to grant PR.
Recent changes have been made to the GTIP to broaden its appeal and make it available to a wider range of applicants. One important change to note is that GTIP applicants are now able to seek a waiver from the usual visa health requirements if they suffer from a health condition that would have otherwise led to their visa application being refused.
The Department has been flooded with expressions of interest for the GTIP recently, which is impacting response times. For this reason, we recommend contacting PwC Australia Immigration prior to EOI lodgement to assess eligibility in detail and to ensure applications are comprehensive.
Changes to outbound travel exemptions
Australian citizens and permanent residents are still not permitted to leave Australia under COVID-19 border restrictions unless a travel exemption is obtained. To date, the travel exemption criteria has been limited, but a recent change has expanded the criteria to allow travel if:
Other outbound travel exemption criteria remains the same, including outbound travel to receive urgent medical treatment not available in Australia, outbound travel on compassionate or humanitarian grounds, or outbound travel in the national interest.
Outbound travel exemptions should be applied for at least two weeks, but not longer than three months, before the date of planned travel.
Automatic exemptions still exist for Australian citizens and permanent residents to depart Australia in limited circumstances, including if you are ordinarily considered a resident outside of Australia, are a New Zealand citizen holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa or you perform essential work at Australian offshore facilities.
Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) App
Until now the processing of ETAs has been suspended as part of Australia’s COVID-19 border response. ETAs will now be processed again via the Department of Home Affairs’ new Australian ETA app. The app accepts applications from Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong (SAR), Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and US passport holders. Please note a travel exemption is still required, in addition to the ETA, to enter Australia.
The ETA mobile app is available on the Android and Apple app store.
From Friday 16 October 2020, individuals travelling from New Zealand are no longer required to apply for a travel exemption or undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Australia. This carve out is not limited to New Zealand citizens, it applies to all individuals who meet the following criteria:
Quarantine-free flights will only carry passengers who have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more prior to travel and have not been in any COVID-19 hotspots. Please contact your airline for further details on how to book quarantine-free flights. All travellers must present a completed COVID-19 Declaration Form when checking into quarantine-free flights at the airport. Dedicated “green” and “red” zones have been created at Australian airports to separate passengers on quarantine-free flights from all other inbound arrivals who must still undergo mandatory quarantine.
Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand is available into New South Wales and the Northern Territory only at this stage. Please note that a valid visa is still required to enter Australia. New Zealand citizens are generally eligible for a Special Category (subclass 444) visa upon arrival in Australia. Other nationalities should confirm their visa requirements prior to travel.
Please note the New Zealand travel bubble does not apply to New Zealand citizens who are outside of New Zealand. It would be necessary for overseas-based New Zealand citizens to return to New Zealand for 14 days or more before being eligible for quarantine-free travel into Australia.
These travel and quarantine-free requirements do not yet apply to Australian citizens travelling to New Zealand. The New Zealand border remains closed for now. Please feel free to bookmark this website for further updates.
Expanded travel exemption criteria
The Department of Home Affairs will now allow additional categories of persons to be automatically exempt from travel restrictions to enter Australia. This means that the following categories of traveller are not required to apply for a travel exemption prior to arrival in Australia:
Family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents will still require a visa before entering Australia.
Labour market testing for employer sponsored permanent residence applications (186 & 187)
Further to our update on 2 September, the Australian Government now expects positions to be advertised on its Jobactive website before a subclass 186 or 187 (ENS or RSMS) permanent residence application is lodged. Although it is not strictly a requirement, the Government has indicated it will look at job advertising undertaken when it considers if there is a genuine need for an overseas worker to fill a permanent position in Australia. The rationale is to ensure that job opportunities for Australian workers are being prioritised in the current economic environment.
Please note that job advertising is expected to occur for all positions nominated for a 186 or 187 visa, including those which were exempt from labour market testing (LMT) at 482 visa application stage. Unfortunately international trade obligations or other LMT exemptions/alternatives will not be recognised for a permanent 186 and 187 application.
It is not clear when the expectation to advertise positions for a proposed 186 or 187 application commences, although it is likely from 1 October in line with the enhanced LMT requirements for the 482 visa program (see our update below from 2 September). It is also unclear whether a full 4 weeks of job advertising (or a lesser period) is required on Jobactive for 186 and 187 applications; the Department of Home Affairs will likely clarify this in due course.
In line with the above, we can expect the Department of Home Affairs to scrutinise 186 and 187 applications in relation to Australian workers you may employ in similar occupations, including:
If any of the points above apply to your business and you wish to use the 186 or 187 programs in future, please contact your PwC Australia immigration representative for assistance.
New Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) introduced
A new skilled occupation list underpinning the 482 visa program has been released today. To be known as the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), it comprises 17 occupations focussing on the engineering, health and IT sectors. The 17 occupations and ANZSCO codes are:
482 visa applicants who are sponsored by Australian businesses in a PMSOL occupation can access priority processing and easier access to travel exemptions in order to enter and work in Australia. The existing skilled occupation lists (the STSOL and MLTSSL) remain active and 482 visa applications based on these lists will continue to be processed. However, 482 visa applications based on the PMSOL will be given priority.
Enhanced labour market testing measures
Please note that enhanced labour market testing measures must accompany all 482 applications from 30 September onwards (not just those applications lodged using a PMSOL occupation). In addition to the requirement for two national job advertisements, sponsors must also advertise roles on the Government's job active website.
For subclass 482 nominations lodged from 30 September onwards, the following advertising requirements must be met:
All job advertisements must be live for at least four weeks, and the advertisements must occur in the four months immediately prior to a 482 nomination lodgement. Each advertisement must be commissioned or authorised by the sponsor directly.
Existing alternatives to job advertising are still available (in limited circumstances) to satisfy the labour market testing requirement. For example, job advertising is not required where an applicant’s annual earnings are greater than AUD 250,000 per annum. Similarly, exemptions based on International Trade Obligations (ITOs) continue to apply.
These enhanced labour market testing provisions are intended to give Australian citizens and permanent residents first access to job opportunities before overseas workers are considered. Jobactive is a Government online jobs portal that is free to use.
The PMSOL will be responsive to changes in Australia's skills needs during the COVID-19 recovery period, so please bookmark this page for further updates.
Travel exemption criteria for those with critical skills
Until recently the criteria to obtain a travel exemption to enter Australia has been narrow. The Australian Government has now moved to expand its criteria slightly by recognising a wider range of sectors as critical to the workforce. Travel exemptions may now be granted to people in categories including:
Please note that appropriate evidence must be submitted with a travel exemption request. Travel exemptions can be submitted online by either the individual, or by a business on the individual's behalf.
This change to travel exemption policy recognises the important role of technology and other essential services in Australia's post-COVID-19 economic recovery. It also provides an indication of upcoming changes to the skilled occupation lists that underpin the Temporary Skills Shortage visa program. Please keep checking this page for further updates, and contact your PwC immigration representative if you have any questions.
Cap on international travellers inbound to Australia
The Australian government has announced a cap on international arrivals to Australia in order to manage ongoing quarantine arrangements. The following cap on arrivals is now in place until further notice:
Interstate travel restrictions
NSW - yes (from Victoria only). NSW has temporarily shut its border with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19. People entering NSW from Victoria will need a NSW border entry permit. Those entering NSW from Victoria are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, get tested for COVID-19 and abide by a COVID-19 Safety Plan. Self-isolation can be at a place of residence or suitable accommodation in NSW. The border closure affects anyone who has been in Victoria in the last 14 days. Special provisions have been made for residents of Victoria and NSW border communities, those performing critical services and interstate residents transiting through NSW.
Queensland - yes (from declared COVID-19 hotspots). Anyone entering Queensland from NSW, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, ACT and Northern Territory must complete a border declaration before entering Queensland. For people entering Queensland from overseas or from a COVID-19 hotspot within 14 days of arrival, a 14 day quarantine is required. Declared COVID-19 hotspots are listed on the Queensland Government website, and currently include all of Victoria and parts of Western Sydney. Exemptions may be granted in exceptional circumstances only.
Northern Territory - yes (all interstate arrivals). NT requires all interstate arrivals to complete a Border Entry application. The application must be completed no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, and can be completed online through the Northern Territory government's website. From 17 July, anyone arriving in the NT from a declared COVID-19 hotspot must complete 14 days of mandatory quarantine at their own cost. Declared COVID-19 hotspots are listed on the NT government website, and currently include all of Victoria and parts of Sydney.
Western Australia - yes (all interstate arrivals). WA's border remains closed. Any interstate traveller wishing to enter WA must obtain a travel exemption (known as a G2G Pass). This can be obtained from the WA government's G2G website.
South Australia - yes (from Victoria, NSW and ACT). Victorian residents, other than essential travellers, are not permitted to enter SA. Travellers from NSW and the ACT entering SA must self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Travellers from NT, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia are able to enter SA without restriction. All interstate travellers must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration at least 3 days before they set off for SA.
Victoria - no
Tasmania - yes (all interstate arrivals). Tasmania requires all interstate arrivals to register for a G2G Pass prior to arrival. All interstate arrivals must then self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. All non-Tasmanian residents who have spent time in Victoria in the 14 days prior to arrival are not permitted to enter Tasmania and will be turned back at their own expense, unless a compassionate exemption is obtained.
NSW - The NSW Government will begin charging international travellers for their hotel quarantine accommodation from Saturday 18 July. Travellers will be charged $3000 for one adult. Additional adults will be charged at $1000 each, additional children at $500 each and no charge for children under 3 years. Therefore a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) will be charged $5000.
Quarantine fees include hotel room costs and meals. Travellers will receive an invoice at the end of the 14 day quarantine period for fees, and will be required to pay the NSW Government within 30 days.
Quarantine fees apply to all international travellers entering NSW including Australian citizens and permanent residents. Please note quarantine fees are not retrospective. Travellers in transit through Sydney to another state or territory will not be charged a fee if transit is less than 24 hours. A pro-rata fee will be charged for stays greater than 24 hours.
Queensland - The Queensland government is charging travellers for mandatory quarantine. The fees are $2800 for one adult, $3710 for two adults and $4620 for 2 adults and 2 children. Quarantine fees include hotel room costs and meals. Travellers will receive an invoice at the end of the 14 day quarantine period for fees, and will be required to pay the Queensland Government within 30 days.
Northern Territory - from 17 July, anyone arriving into the Northern Territory from a COVID-19 hotspot must complete 14 days of mandatory quarantine at their own cost. The cost per person is $2500. Declared hotspots currently include large areas of Victoria and Sydney. Exemption from quarantine can be requested in certain circumstances (e.g. specialist services for industry or business or emergency service workers). Exemptions are considered invalid if you are travelling from an identified COVID-19 hotspot.
Western Australia - from 17 July, international arrivals to WA are required to pay for their 14 days of mandatory quarantine. The fees are $2520 for one adult, $3360 for two adults and $5040 for a family of four.
South Australia - from 18 July, international arrivals to SA are required to pay for their 14 days of mandatory quarantine. Travellers will be charged $3000 for one adult. Additional adults will be charged at $1000 each, additional children at $500 each and no charge for children under 3 years. Therefore a family of four (2 adults and 2 children) will be charged $5000.
Victoria - to be advised.
Suspension of issuance of certain new US visas through 2020: Only brand new H-1B, L-1 and J-1s visas impacted.
What Australians Need to Know
Effective 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 24, 2020 (2pm Australia time on the 25 June), President Trump’s Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the COVID-19 Outbreak will come into effect through Dec. 31, 2020 (with potential for modifications every 30-60 days).
Of interest is the exemption for those whose entry is “necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.” How this will be adjudicated is undefined and unclear, but leaves open the argument for a worker who can prove their role will help with the US economic recovery may still be able to start a new US role.
Right now, temporary workers (such as Aussie E-3, E-2) already in the US are not impacted by this Proclamation and Aussie’s who would like to apply for a new E-3 or E-2 may be able to do so under emergency procedures.
COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa - Temporary Activity (subclass 408)
As an extraordinary response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government has introduced the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa, under the Subclass 408.
Applicants for the visa must:
If applicants can evidence current employment in critical sectors (which include health care, disability and aged care, childcare and agriculture), a permission to work may be granted with the visa. Other applicants, who do not work in critical sectors and therefore whose application is only aimed at remaining lawful in the country, must evidence that they are simply not eligible for other visas.
There is no visa fee or subsequent temporary application charge associated with this visa. The visa can be granted up to 12 months for applicants working in critical sectors and up to 6 months for applicants who will apply to remain lawful in Australia in the absence of any other possible visa.
From 29 March 2020, all travellers entering Australia (including Australian citizens and permanent residents) are required to undertake a mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Travellers will be transported directly from the airport of arrival to designated facilities. The designated facilities where the quarantine will take place (for example a hotel) will usually be in the city of arrival in Australia. This mandatory quarantine requirement is in place until further notice.
From midday 25 March 2020, Australian citizens and permanent residents are restricted from travelling outside Australia (by air or sea or the operator of an outgoing aircraft or vessel), unless an exemption is granted to them. This Determination is in force for an initial period of 4 weeks.
If an Australian Citizen or permanent resident must travel, they are required to make a request in writing only if one of the following exemptions apply:
An exemption must be granted to the Australian Citizen or permanent resident prior to them departing Australia. A person who fails to comply with the travel restriction may commit a criminal offence and be imprisoned for a maximum 5 years, or be fined 300 penalty units ($63,000).
PwC's immigration team can assist with travel exemptions for individuals travelling inbound to or outbound from Australia, if there are compelling or compassionate reasons. Please contact your PwC immigration advisor for further details.
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has confirmed the Australian travel ban is for all international travellers to Australia. The only exemptions are for:
Please note the travel ban takes effect from 9pm AEDT on Friday 20 March 2020. Restrictions are in place until further notice. Please bookmark this website for further updates.
Those exempt from the travel ban will continue to be subject to a 14 day self isolation period upon arrival in Australia.
You should consider the following at this time:
These are challenging times, and we are here to support you in any way we can. Please contact PwC Australia's immigration team if you need help or advice.
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced a travel ban on all non-residents and non-Australian citizens coming into Australia. This will be effective from 9pm AEDT on Friday 20 March 2020. More details on how this will impact existing Australian visa holders to follow.