--- COVID-19 CORONA VIRUS ---
NOTICE FOR BUSINESS SPONSORS AND EMPLOYERS
Australia has closed its borders for the next six months in response to the Covid-19 (corona virus) pandemic. Below is important information relevant to business sponsors and employers.
The Australian government's regulations in response to COVID-19 changing regularly. Subscribe to our updates to stay informed on how you may be affected.
Only the following persons may enter Australia during this time:
Australian permanent residents
New Zealand citizens normally resident in Australia
Spouses, partners, children and dependents of the above
If you have a compelling or compassionate reason to enter Australia
If you are one of the listed persons above, you must request permission to enter. A compelling or compassionate reason may also include a significant loss or adverse effect on business operations from the absence of a foreign worker.
All other temporary visa holders MUST NOT enter Australia. If they attempt to enter, their visa may be cancelled. You may check an employee’s visa status on VEVO.
If a visa has already been cancelled, please contact us immediately.
If a person holds an existing visa, they can retain it until Australia re-opens its borders. However, if the visa expires before this happens, they must re-apply for the visa. This includes those who hold a Bridging Visa B.
If a person’s visa is expiring, they MUST apply for another visa to remain in Australia.
No Further Stay - Restrictive Conditions 8503, 8534, 8535, 8558
If a person holds a visa with a No Further Stay or restrictive condition (8503, 8534, 8535, 8558), they must apply to have this waived. Once the condition is removed, they can apply for another visa to remain in Australia.
Sponsored and temporary foreign workers
If a temporary working visa expires or employment is terminated, the person must either apply for a new visa or find a new employer within 60 days.
We understand that a business may prefer to temporarily suspend employment or “stand-down” employees for the time being.
At this stage, if a foreign worker is terminated and the business intends to re-employ them, a new nomination application will need to be lodged. However, we are currently making inquiries with the Department of Home Affairs as to whether a business sponsor can retain or “freeze” their existing nominations until normal business operations resume. Employers should also seek advice from Fair Work or an employment lawyer regarding the terms of their employment contract – particularly in relation to termination and leave.
If you wish to continue sponsoring workers or have pending applications, these will be processed as usual. Nominations are valid for 12 months from date of approval. You may continue to lodge nomination applications followed by the foreign worker’s visa application at a later date.
We anticipate the Department of Home Affairs to implement further concessions and temporary measures in addressing skill shortages during this global pandemic. Subscribe to our updates to stay informed on how your employees may be affected.
Financial support for temporary visa holders and businesses
The Government is offering stimulus packages and unsecured loans to assist both individuals and businesses during this crisis. For information, please see: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus
The Government will potentially offer special welfare payments to temporary visa holders who have lost their jobs and are unable to return to their home country.
If you require assistance in any of the above procedures, please contact us.
Dizon & Associates
25 March 2020