With the silly season fast approaching, this is a public service announcement to make sure that you, your business or your employees are complying with their visa conditions through the festivities. For a lot of people this time of year means travel abroad, a break in employment or a potential change in circumstances – remember before you set off on your Christmas break to check what your visa allows you to do for the whole period of your trip!
Particular sticky spots to look out for are:
Expiry or travel
- Your visa expiring during the Christmas period – the Department of Immigration have a short period over Christmas / New Year where visa services are not available. To be safe, where you have a visa expiring any time during December 2016 or January 2017 – ensure that you lodge a new visa application or make plans to depart Australia prior to expiry.
- No travel rights – if you are between visas and hold a Bridging Visa it may be the case that you do not have the right to travel outside of Australia and return on that visa. Check your visa status prior to departure so you don’t get stuck overseas.
- Passport expiry – for international jetsetters, some countries will require that you have at least 6 months validity on your passport to enter the country. Check your passport expiry prior to departure.
Please note that not all of these conditions will apply to you. You should check your visa grant notification or conduct a VEVO check to see which conditions are attached to your visa.
- Condition 8105 – ’40 hours per fortnight’: this condition stipulates that only 40 hours of work may be performed by the primary visa holder while there course is in session. This means that once your final exams are over, you may increase your hours of work.
- Condition 8107 – ‘work only in the nominated occupation’: so, Andrew, Sally, Gertrude and Bevan are leaving you alone in the office for a month? Make sure that you only work in your nominated occupation on your 457 visa – if you try to do everyone else’s jobs, you could be breach of this visa condition.
- Condition 8501 – ‘health insurance’: make sure that your health insurance coverage is up-to-date and will see you through until expiry of your visa.
- Condition 8503 – ‘No further stay’: if your current visa has this condition, you will need to make plans to depart Australia before expiry. If you wish to lodge a new Australian visa application, this must be done from outside Australia (unless you are lodging a Protection Visa).
- Condition 8547 – ‘6 months work’: if you are holding a Subclass 417 / 462 visa you cannot perform work for 1 employer for more than 6 months – this includes the silly season! Check your start date of work to check if you need a new visa or to find a new employer.
Once you have double checked your visa status and passport expiry you are free to join in the festivities!
If you need assistance with any visa matter in the lead up to the silly season, please call Baker Love Lawyers on +61 2 4944 3322.
Otherwise, have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!