COVID-19: Australian Border closes to non-residents today

The Australian Border will close tonight from 9pm (AEDT) to all non-residents. Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens who are usually resident in Australia, partner visa holders and child visa holders will be allowed entry. Returning travelers are reminded to self-isolate for 14 days at their home or in a hotel when they arrive back in Australia.

The immediate family of Australian citizens and permanent residents will also be granted entry if they have a valid visa.

Spouses, dependents and legal guardians of Australian citizens or permanent residency holders who want to return to Australia but do not have a visa will need to apply for one. Immediate family members should not to make travel arrangements to Australia until the Australian immigration department advises they can do so. Visas are still being processed although applicants are advised to expect delays.

The closure of Australia’s borders will affect temporary visa holders who are currently overseas and who are looking to return to Australia. This will affect people holding a tourist visa, a 417 working holiday visa, temporary skilled visas holders on a 457 visa or a 482 visa and business visa holders on a subclass 188 visa or 132 visa.

The decision to close Australia’s borders was announced yesterday by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, in an effort to curb the spread of the corona virus. It will, however, likely impact families of temporary skilled visa holders and business operators who have sponsored employees.

The Australian Business Migration Group is working the Department of Home Affairs to understand how these impacts can be addressed.