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Free COVID-19 testing and treatment

Even if you don't have a visa, or are unsure about your visa status, you must follow public health directions. If you are feeling unwell, seek medical attention and get tested for COVID-19.

State and territory governments are offering free COVID-19 testing and treatment.

I have a permanent visa

Permanent Resident (PR) visa holders can remain in Australia indefinitely but if you intend to leave Australia and come back, you need to check the travel facility period on your permanent visa (usually a five-year period).

You can check by:

  • using the VEVO service, or
  • accessing your visa conditions through your ImmiAccount.

If you enter Australia on a temporary visa when the travel facility on your permanent visa has expired, this will have an adverse impact on you. See 'Resident Return visa' for details.

I have a temporary visa

I have a Visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)

Under Australian migration law, it is not possible to extend a visitor visa or ETA. You must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires.

If you have a ‘no further stay condition’ attached to your visa, you will need to apply to have this waived before you make any visa application.

If you cannot depart Australia as planned, check your permitted stay period, visa expiry date and visa conditions to make sure you remain lawful in Australia.

You can check your visa details in VEVO, the myVEVO app, in your visa grant letter or your ImmiAccount. You can check your ETA expiry and conditions through our Check an ETA service.

When you apply for a new visa, you may be granted a bridging visa that will keep you lawful in Australia until a decision is made on your visa application.

If your visa has already expired, see My visa has expired.

Visa conditions

No work condition

Visitor visa and ETA holders are not permitted to work in Australia.

Visa stay period

The stay period on an existing visa cannot be extended. Your visa will cease if you are still in Australia at the end of your permitted stay period. If you cannot depart Australia within the permitted stay period on your visa, you should apply for a further visa before the date on which your visa ceases.

If you departed and returned to Australia on a round-trip cruise, this may not be considered as a departure from Australia for the purposes of your permitted stay period. Please check the information provided to you by your cruise ship company.

No further stay condition (includes 8503, 8534 and 8535)

If you hold a visa with condition 8503, 8534 or 8535 and cannot depart Australia as planned, you cannot apply for most other visas in Australia unless the condition is waived. You can request to waive this condition if your visa will expire in less than four weeks. If your request is approved, you should make a new visa application before your current visa expires.

Condition 8531 (must not remain in Australia beyond the period of stay permitted by the visa)

If you hold a visa with condition 8531 and cannot depart Australia as planned, you should apply for a further visa before the date on which your visa ceases. If you are also subject to condition 8503, you will need to request a waiver of this condition first.

We understand some people cannot leave Australia as planned due to travel restrictions, and we will take this into account for any future visa or sponsorship applications.

Condition 8558 (must not stay in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period)

If you hold a visa with condition 8558 and cannot depart Australia as planned, your visa will cease if you stay in Australia for 12 consecutive months at a time.

If you have been in Australia for 12 cumulative months in an 18 month period, your visa will still remain valid until the visa expiry date.

You should apply for a further visa if your visa will expire before you can depart Australia. If you are also subject to condition 8503, you will need to request a waiver of this condition first.

Visa processing arrangements

If you need to apply for a new visa to stay in Australia, you can still explore your visa options and make a visa application at ImmiAccount. We encourage applicants to apply online wherever possible, as these applications will be processed faster.

Some services relating to the visa application process may be impacted by COVID-19 and a range of services we rely on (such as medical checks and biometric collection) are increasingly unavailable. Applicants will be given additional time to complete checks and provide the requested information.

We will take the service disruptions into account when considering your visa application.

You do not need to contact us to ask for more time to complete these checks.

I have a Student visa

Latest updates/media releases

The Government is taking a flexible approach in relation to student visa conditions where COVID-19 restrictions have prevented conditions being met, such as attendance at class or use of online learning.

If your study in Australia is ending, and you are unable to depart Australia, you can apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). You need to do this before your Student visa expires.

If your course is ‘out of session’

You can work unlimited hours if your course is considered ‘out of session’. Courses are considered ‘out of session’ during scheduled course breaks or if a student has finished their course as scheduled.

If you are studying a masters by research or a doctorate course

If you have commenced studying a masters by research or a doctorate course, you may work unlimited hours.

If your course has been deferred

You can work over 40 hours per fortnight if your course has been deferred.

Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders

Certain student visa holders are temporarily permitted to work more than 40 hours per fortnight to support the supply of essential goods and services for Australians if they are:

  • employed in the health sector, enrolled in a health related course (such as nursing or medicine) and are directed by a health official to assist in the effort against COVID-19
  • employed by registered supermarkets (this temporary measure will cease on 1 May 2020 for supermarkets)
  • employed in aged care by an Approved Provider or Commonwealth-funded aged care service provider
  • employed by a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider.

See Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders.

Can I extend my Student visa?

Under Australian migration law, it is not possible to extend a Student visa.

You need to apply for a new visa if:

  • you cannot return to your home country and your visa is expiring
  • you need more time in Australia to complete your course.

You should apply for a new Student visa six weeks before your existing Student visa expires. There is no need to provide evidence of impacts of COVID-19 with your Student visa application.

If your study in Australia is ending, you can apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). You need to do this before your Student visa expires.

More information on the Visitor visa.

Some services relating to the visa application process may be impacted and a range of services are becoming unavailable. This includes panel doctors who undertake medical checks, English language testing facilities and biometric collection. While these services are unavailable, many applicants cannot meet visa requirements. Students will be given additional time to complete checks and provide the requested information.

Importantly though, making a new application before the current visa expires will give you a bridging visa to remain lawful while all requirements are met.

Australian study requirements

The Department of Home Affairs does not regulate mode of study requirements.
You should contact your education provider.

Please refer to the Joint TEQSA and ASQA statement relating to flexible delivery.

For the exceptions as a result of the travel restrictions, see the National Code requirements for affected tertiary students to undertake online study.

Notifying the Department

You do not need to notify the Department if you return home, or your study situation changes.

Your visa remains valid until you lodge another visa application, or your visa expires. The status of your visa will remain unchanged if you return home or defer your studies.

Students experiencing financial difficulties

You are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and your own savings to sustain yourself in Australia.

If you are unable to support yourself, you should make arrangements to return to your usual country of residence, noting that it is a condition of all Student visas that holders have access to funds to support themselves for the duration of their stay in Australia.

Students who have been in Australia longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.

The Government will continue to engage with the international education sector which is providing some financial support for international students facing hardship.

I have a Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) or Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

Temporary Skill Shortage and subclass 457 visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain a valid visa and businesses will have the opportunity to extend your visa as per normal arrangements.

Businesses will be able to reduce your hours without you being in breach of your visa conditions or the business being in breach of their employer obligations.

If you have been laid off and are currently unemployed, you should find another employer within 60 days or make arrangements to leave Australia, where this is possible.

If you cannot return to your home country, you need to maintain a valid visa and follow Australia’s health advice where necessary.

Holders of temporary work visas currently employed in critical sectors, like health, aged care or agriculture, may also be eligible for a COVID-19 pandemic Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Agreement Event (AGEE) stream visa.

I have a Working Holiday Maker visa

I work in a critical sector for COVID-19 (Agriculture, Food processing, Health care, Aged care, Disability care or Child care)

Working Holiday Maker visas cannot be extended. However, if you have completed three or six months of specified work in Australia, you may be able to apply for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa.

The Australian Government has introduced new measures in response to COVID-19. Working holiday makers who are employed in critical sectors including agriculture, health, aged and disability care and childcare will be exempt from the six month work limitation with one employer.

Working holiday makers employed in critical sectors who haven’t completed the 3 or 6 months of specified work required to apply for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa, and are unable to return to their home country can apply for COVID-19 pandemic Temporary Activity Visa (subclass 408) Australian Government Endorsed Agreement Event (AGEE) stream visa and will not incur a visa application charge. This visa will allow you to remain lawfully in Australia, and continue working, should you wish to do so, until it is safe and practicable for you to return to your home country.

To be granted a new visa, you must meet the requirements for that visa, including any age limits, English language, health and character requirements.

Visa condition 8547 — six month work limitation with one employer

Working Holiday Makers can do any kind of work during their stay in Australia, but this is generally limited to six months’ work with any one employer, unless the Department has given permission to work with the same employer for longer than six months.

Working Holiday Makers working in critical sectors, like health, aged care or agriculture have permission from the Department to work for the same employer for longer than six months, on the grounds of exceptional, unforeseen circumstances.

Other situations where Working Holiday Makers have permission from the Department to work for the same employer for longer than six months, include where the work is:

  • in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed six months
  • in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia
  • in certain industries in northern Australia only
  • assisting bushfire recovery efforts.

In any other circumstance, you need to request permission to work with the same employer for longer than 6 months.

I work in a non-critical sector for COVID-19

Working Holiday Maker visas cannot be extended. However, if you have completed three or six months of work in Australia, you may be able to apply for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa.

See specified work conditions for more information.

If you have not completed the three or six months of specified work required to apply for a second, or third Working Holiday visa because of COVID-19 and you are not working in a critical sector, you should apply for another visa to remain lawful until you’re able to return to your home country.

To be granted a new visa, you must meet the requirements for that visa, including any age limits, English language, health and character requirements.

Visa condition 8547 — six month work limitation with one employer

Working Holiday Makers can do any kind of work during their stay in Australia, but this is generally limited to six months’ work with any one employer, unless the Department has given permission to work with the same employer for longer than six months.

In some situations Working Holiday Makers have permission from the Department to work for the same employer for longer than six months, where the work is:

  • in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed six months
  • in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia
  • in certain industries in northern Australia only
  • assisting bushfire recovery efforts.

In any other circumstance, you need to request permission to work with the same employer for longer than six months.

I am a Seasonal worker or part of the Pacific Labour Scheme

Subclass 403 visa holders in the Pacific Labour Scheme

You can apply for another subclass 403 visa in the Pacific Labour Scheme where you and your employer are endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to participate in the scheme. This visa will allow you to stay lawfully in Australia, and continue working, if you wish to do so, or until you can return to your home country.

Subclass 403 visa holders in the Seasonal Worker Program

Your visa cannot be extended. However, the Australian Government has introduced new measures for those working in critical sectors in response to COVID-19.

You may be eligible for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream) visa during the COVID-19 pandemic, if:

  • your visa is about to expire
  • your visa has already expired
  • you can’t leave Australia
  • you are working in a critical sector, like health, aged care or agriculture.

This visa will allow you to stay lawfully in Australia, and continue working, if you wish to do so, or until you can return to your home country. Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme arrangements, including those relating to employers, will be carried over to the new visa arrangements, continuing the link with the agricultural sector.

Visa conditions: 8503 (No Further Stay) and 8577 (Changing Employers)

For the subclass 403 visa in the Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme, condition 8577 means you are normally only allowed to work for one Sponsor/Approved Employer, unless the Department of Home Affairs gives you permission to change.

During the COVID-19 period, you will be able to move between Sponsors/Approved Employers. If you need to move between Sponsors/Approved Employers, your employer must contact:

  • the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, if you are a Seasonal Worker
  • the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, if you are working in the Pacific Labour Scheme.

Under these temporary arrangements, employers are still required to abide by all relevant Australian workplace laws and you will continue to have the same rights under Australian workplace law as all other employees.

For the subclass 403 in the Seasonal Worker stream, during the COVID-19 period, the condition 8503 (No Further Stay) attached to your visa will be automatically waived to allow you to apply for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream) visa.

You will not need to apply for a waiver of condition 8503.

I have a Special Category visa

New Zealanders and Australians have arrangements whereby we can each stay and work in each other’s country.

I have a Bridging visa A, B or C

Bridging visas A, B and C allow you to stay in Australia after your current visa expires, and while your new visa application is being processed.

Working rights

You may be allowed to work in Australia depending on your Bridging visa conditions.

You can check by:

  • using the VEVO service, or
  • accessing your visa conditions through your ImmiAccount.

If you are in a difficult financial situation and your Bridging visa does not let you work, or has restrictions on working, you can apply for a Bridging visa A that lets you work. However, you will need to show that you are in a difficult financial situation.

If you do not meet the requirements for work, and you are still eligible for a Bridging visa, we will grant you a new Bridging visa with the same conditions that were on your previous Bridging visa.

You will not be granted a new Bridging visa that lets you work if:

  • your current Bridging visa A was granted to you because you have applied for judicial review of the decision made on your original visa application, or
  • you have applied for a protection visa.

See: Information on how to apply.

Expiring Bridging visas

If you want to stay in Australia beyond your visa expiry date, you must apply for another visa.

I have a Bridging visa E

This temporary visa allows you to stay in Australia while you:

  • make arrangements to leave
  • finalise your immigration matter
  • wait for an immigration decision.

Working rights

You may be allowed to work in Australia depending on your Bridging visa conditions.

You can check by:

  • using the VEVO service, or
  • accessing your visa conditions through your ImmiAccount.

Expiring Bridging visas

If you want to stay in Australia beyond your visa expiry date, you must apply for another visa.

Status Resolution Service

The Status Resolution Service (SRS) program can provide you with temporary support.

You may be eligible for support if you are:

  • without a visa and living in Australia
  • an illegal maritime arrival (IMA) and have lodged a valid Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) application
  • a non-IMA and have lodged a valid protection visa application
  • a holder of a Bridging Visa E (BVE)
  • facing significant barriers that are impacting on your ability to resolve your immigration status.

My visa has expired

Expired inside 28 days

If your visa has expired, you need to apply for a Bridging visa E (BVE) immediately in order to become lawful. A BVE is a short-term visa that lets you remain lawful while you make arrangements to leave Australia.

If you want to stay lawfully in Australia, you must apply for a new visa. Your circumstances will determine your visa options and what you must do to remain lawful. Depending on how long ago your visa expired, you may face restrictions on applying for further visas while you are in Australia.

Some services relating to the visa application process may be impacted by COVID-19 and a range of services we rely on (such as medical checks and biometric collection) are increasingly unavailable. Applicants will be given additional time to complete checks and provide the requested information.

Expired over 28 days ago

If your visa expired more than 28 days ago, please contact the Status Resolution Service (SRS) for assistance to resolve your immigration status.

Frequently asked questions

Information for temporary visa holders during COVID-19.

Frequently asked questions