Can I Still Enter Australia During Covid-19 Times?
Ever since the breakout of the pandemic back in March 2020, Australia has closed off its borders as their way of taking quick investigating action against the threat of COVID-19. This decision largely paid off, with the country now having the pandemic well under control compared to others, with new cases now averaging about 1,776 per day.
Due to these restrictions, migration today has become difficult for many people, with the situation believed to remain the same for the rest of 2021. However, various Australian states are now permitting interstate travel with certain requirements as well as exceptions for other, outside individuals looking to gain entry.
Understand what it takes to be able to enter Australia borders, or even successfully migrate to Australia from Singapore.
Who can enter Australia at present?
As stated above, the Australian government has placed a few exceptions for certain individuals to enter the country, such as:
- Permanent residents and Australian citizens
- Immediate family of permanent residents or Australian citizens
- Individuals who have been in Australia or New Zealand for 14 days or more immediately before arrival by air in Australia
- Individuals transiting Australia for 72 hours or less
- Individuals recruited under the government-approved Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme
- Individuals who possess a Business Innovation and Investment visa
- Individuals who possess a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa under the ‘Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery Event’ stream and are supported by the Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce.
Lastly, temporary visas such as working holiday, visitor, and prospective marriage are typically unable to enter Australia for now. To see the full list of exemptions, requirements, and updates, visit the Department of Home Affairs website here.
When should you apply for your Australian visa?
Although the country’s borders remain closed today and are expected to remain as such for the time being, there are no interruptions to the processing of Australian visas. Thus, it is possible to apply even amidst the COVID-19 restrictions imposed within the country today.
Entry pilot testing will soon be initiated for student visa holders, and prospective easing of restrictions to temporary visa holders are in place. Both measures may be initiated as soon as Australia reaches its 80% vaccination rate, and may start to consider easing restrictions gradually.
Skilled, working holiday, parent, and partner visas have a 1 year’s entry date. This means applicants have 12 months from the date of their visa grant before they must enter Australia. Moreover, skilled visas may take up to 6-8 months of preparation and processing before they can be ready for lodgement, so it is worthwhile to allow themselves plenty of time.
What does the future of Australia Migration hold?
It is a well-known fact that Australia has long relied on talents from overseas to bolster and sustain its economy by filling its skill shortages and contributing to the country’s tax system. Even though there has been a sharp downturn in migration due to the recent pandemic, the situation is expected to return to its previous state once the country’s borders reopen in the near future.
Australia is constantly on the lookout for highly skilled individuals to assist in the country’s economic post-pandemic recovery, so now is a good time to start inquiring about visas and possible job opportunities and get one’s application processed early.
Due to the recent uptick of new COVID cases in Australia, it is unlikely the country will open its borders anytime soon. This is also reinforced with a statement from the Australian government stating that they might not lift the travel ban until 2022 at the earliest.
Nonetheless, the country will need to source skilled workers that can aid in the recovery of the country’s economy, so those wishing to migrate to Australia from Singapore should stay alert regarding updates and potential developments and submit their applications as early as now.