Jump to content

You're currently viewing the forum as a Guest
register-now-button_orig.png
and join in with discussions   
ask migration questions
message other members

..and much much more!

PickledRic

491 visa and coronavirus

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi,

we got granted our 491 visa (QLD sponsorship) in March 2020. 
 

Obviously since then coronavirus has become a pandemic and Australian borders are closed.

I’m aware that this means holders of the 491 are currently not allowed to travel to Australia and completely understand why; I have no intentions of travelling currently! 
 

However, we had planned to move over to Australia in September and we’re just looking for some advice really on how things are likely to go over the next few months and whether we should cancel our flights.

My partner is a teacher and will be jobless come September as he handed his notice in before coronavirus was a huge thing; we’re not sure how or what to plan for; obviously we’d like to get over to Australia as soon as we can but just wondered if there was any idea of how things might look in terms of international travel this year, particularly for people who hold a sponsored visa? 

Edited by PickledRic
Sp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, PickledRic said:

Hi,

we got granted our 491 visa (QLD sponsorship) in March 2020. 
 

Obviously since then coronavirus has become a pandemic and Australian borders are closed.

I’m aware that this means holders of the 491 are currently not allowed to travel to Australia and completely understand why; I have no intentions of travelling currently! 
 

However, we had planned to move over to Australia in September and we’re just looking for some advice really on how things are likely to go over the next few months and whether we should cancel our flights.

My partner is a teacher and will be jobless come September as he handed his notice in before coronavirus was a huge thing; we’re not sure how or what to plan for; obviously we’d like to get over to Australia as soon as we can but just wondered if there was any idea of how things might look in terms of international travel this year, particularly for people who hold a sponsored visa? 

Unless you know someone with a crystal ball I don't think you'll get an answer to that one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Nemesis said:

Unless you know someone with a crystal ball I don't think you'll get an answer to that one!

Haha I do realise it’s virtually impossible to know, just wondered what people’s thoughts are on it I guess.

Feel like I should preface everything with of course I understand the restrictions currently etc. But also feel a little bit like holders of the 491 visa have been pushed aside (again, no desire to travel anywhere right now but definitely in the future).

Considering we had to go through the same process as all of those who have been granted PR visas, and pay the same fees, it all just feels a little unfair to then not be allowed in when the other visa holders are. I wonder if this is something  to do with the restrictions on the 491 and obviously with increasing unemployment rates it may not be possible to fulfil the criteria for the follow on one?

 

I’ve no idea I just wanted to speculate/have a little moan. Yesterday was the first day I felt a little upset about the prospect of our future plans not happening; of course up until then I was very much focussed on the current situation but it’s hard not to feel upset when something is very important to you and you put a lot of effort into it.

 

Hope nobody thinks I’m being selfish here, i understand the gravity of the situation and realise there are more pressing matters but I just wanted to offload and hopefully other people who feel the same way can join in.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's because 491 visas aren't entitled to all state benefits, but once allowed in if you get ill or can't survive without benefits, in a time of crisis like this AUS would have to look after you (from a pure publicity point of view) so from their point of view it's better you aren't there to need this help.

Whilst it's true that you paid the same costs, you also had the option to apply for a 189/190 visa and chose not to, it's not their fault that your easier journey to a visa grant  came with conditions that now are shown to be slightly difficult in this situation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Ausvisitor said:

It's because 491 visas aren't entitled to all state benefits, but once allowed in if you get ill or can't survive without benefits, in a time of crisis like this AUS would have to look after you (from a pure publicity point of view) so from their point of view it's better you aren't there to need this help.

Whilst it's true that you paid the same costs, you also had the option to apply for a 189/190 visa and chose not to, it's not their fault that your easier journey to a visa grant  came with conditions that now are shown to be slightly difficult in this situation

I completely understand re. The benefits.

 

in terms of other visa options, I applied for all of them but unfortunately as a secondary school teacher the chances of getting a 189 are pretty much non existent and the 190 for QLD was outrageously competitive so the 491 in the end was the only option available to us. It wasn’t an easier journey to a visa grant by any stretch of the imagination and was as difficult as any of the other routes and I’m incredibly grateful to have been granted a visa . I don’t feel it’s anyone’s fault I just wanted to voice how I felt, which is mainly disappointed currently, and see if there were any other people whose plans for the year were up in the air so we could talk about things.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PickledRic said:

I completely understand re. The benefits.

 

in terms of other visa options, I applied for all of them but unfortunately as a secondary school teacher the chances of getting a 189 are pretty much non existent and the 190 for QLD was outrageously competitive so the 491 in the end was the only option available to us. It wasn’t an easier journey to a visa grant by any stretch of the imagination and was as difficult as any of the other routes and I’m incredibly grateful to have been granted a visa . I don’t feel it’s anyone’s fault I just wanted to voice how I felt, which is mainly disappointed currently, and see if there were any other people whose plans for the year were up in the air so we could talk about things.  

Our plans are also thrown out by this, we planned to activate our 190 in the summer and then move properly in Jan 2021, not sure what time we will do all this now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, PickledRic said:

I completely understand re. The benefits.

 

in terms of other visa options, I applied for all of them but unfortunately as a secondary school teacher the chances of getting a 189 are pretty much non existent and the 190 for QLD was outrageously competitive so the 491 in the end was the only option available to us. It wasn’t an easier journey to a visa grant by any stretch of the imagination and was as difficult as any of the other routes and I’m incredibly grateful to have been granted a visa . I don’t feel it’s anyone’s fault I just wanted to voice how I felt, which is mainly disappointed currently, and see if there were any other people whose plans for the year were up in the air so we could talk about things.  

I am sailing in the same boat as you. I got my 489 SA in Nov 19 and I planned my entry in June to SA, my spouse resigned in Feb and I was suppose to resign in March end but due to border closed and COVID 19 there is not much we could do. The only good thing is my spouse could retain his resignation so we don't loose our current income and no one know when things will be normal. 

we are in touch with our agent and he is helping us to be optimistic about the situation and suggest once the border are open plan your trip as soon as you can and at least get your first entry before the timeline. we have time till Nov 2020 to make our first entry and we are hope/wish/pray the borders to open by Aug/Sept.

I hope you make your entry as well 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 15/04/2020 at 13:57, PickledRic said:

Hi,

we got granted our 491 visa (QLD sponsorship) in March 2020. 
 

Obviously since then coronavirus has become a pandemic and Australian borders are closed.

I’m aware that this means holders of the 491 are currently not allowed to travel to Australia and completely understand why; I have no intentions of travelling currently! 
 

However, we had planned to move over to Australia in September and we’re just looking for some advice really on how things are likely to go over the next few months and whether we should cancel our flights.

My partner is a teacher and will be jobless come September as he handed his notice in before coronavirus was a huge thing; we’re not sure how or what to plan for; obviously we’d like to get over to Australia as soon as we can but just wondered if there was any idea of how things might look in terms of international travel this year, particularly for people who hold a sponsored visa? 

Hi when did you submit your application? How long did you wait until it was granted? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ausvisitor said:

Our plans are also thrown out by this, we planned to activate our 190 in the summer and then move properly in Jan 2021, not sure what time we will do all this now

It’s really difficult to make any concrete plans and I think that’s probably the hardest thing at the moment; we accept that it’s likely to not be this year but not knowing when it could be and when we’ll need to start preparing things at this end is a little stressful. Do you have a home to sell or anything like that or are you pretty much set up to go?

 

3 hours ago, Skhush said:

I am sailing in the same boat as you. I got my 489 SA in Nov 19 and I planned my entry in June to SA, my spouse resigned in Feb and I was suppose to resign in March end but due to border closed and COVID 19 there is not much we could do. The only good thing is my spouse could retain his resignation so we don't loose our current income and no one know when things will be normal. 

we are in touch with our agent and he is helping us to be optimistic about the situation and suggest once the border are open plan your trip as soon as you can and at least get your first entry before the timeline. we have time till Nov 2020 to make our first entry and we are hope/wish/pray the borders to open by Aug/Sept.

I hope you make your entry as well 🙂

fingers crossed the borders do reopen, keep us updated if you get any more news from your agent - we’re not using one so it would be good to get some official information from others 😊

 

2 hours ago, Eagle2020 said:

Hi when did you submit your application? How long did you wait until it was granted? 

the whole process took us well over a year with skills assessments and registering with QCT etc. but in terms of applying for the 491; I applied in January I think and got invited a couple of days after, got the final grant in March. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, PickledRic said:

It’s really difficult to make any concrete plans and I think that’s probably the hardest thing at the moment; we accept that it’s likely to not be this year but not knowing when it could be and when we’ll need to start preparing things at this end is a little stressful. Do you have a home to sell or anything like that or are you pretty much set up to go?

 

fingers crossed the borders do reopen, keep us updated if you get any more news from your agent - we’re not using one so it would be good to get some official information from others 😊

 

the whole process took us well over a year with skills assessments and registering with QCT etc. but in terms of applying for the 491; I applied in January I think and got invited a couple of days after, got the final grant in March. 

So that was within the process guidelines then. I applied early March, still waiting on outcome. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally understand your pain r.e the 491 visa (it is not an 'easy' route a visa by any means!). My partner and I were granted a family sponsored 491 in March and planned to have our baby (due in July) over there, flights booked for May. 

We have now moved our flights to December 30th and I'm not even hopeful that will go ahead. 

We all just have to stay optomistic and focus on staying safe and healthy :) Australia will still be there when all of this is over.

X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi everyone just checking in!

Just wondered what people’s thoughts are on the 491 visa and chances of getting to Australia this year? 
 

I know Qantas have said no real travel Until next year and Scott Morrison has said no international travel until July 2021. With the same token though there’s been talk about allowing international students and ‘long term visitors’. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether this is likely to come to fruition? 
 

We know QLD are charging for quarantine and are happy to pay for it, we absolutely expect to have this cost given the situation and we’re pleased they’ve done this as maybe it means it will open up to other people?

 

Any thoughts appreciated!

Edited by PickledRic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, PickledRic said:

Hi everyone just checking in!

Just wondered what people’s thoughts are on the 491 visa and chances of getting to Australia this year? 
 

I know Qantas have said no real travel Until next year and Scott Morrison has said no international travel until July 2021. With the same token though there’s been talk about allowing international students and ‘long term visitors’. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether this is likely to come to fruition? 
 

We know QLD are charging for quarantine and are happy to pay for it, we absolutely expect to have this cost given the situation and we’re pleased they’ve done this as maybe it means it will open up to other people?

 

Any thoughts appreciated!

I think, just personal view, that it is unlikely Australia will open its borders this year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, PickledRic said:

Hi everyone just checking in!

Just wondered what people’s thoughts are on the 491 visa and chances of getting to Australia this year? 

I'm not seeing any hints either way.   It's true they are talking about letting international students in again - mainly because the universities can't stay afloat without their fees.  Money talks!   

I haven't heard anyone mention "long term visitors" - other than Boris Johnson.  Here in Australia, people are in a panic because Melbourne has reported 70 cases a day for the last few days.   There is no way we're going to open our doors to countries that have had hundreds of cases every day for weeks - the government knows there would be an outcry.   There has been talk about creating a "Pacific Bubble" with other countries that have low case numbers, like New Zealand, but not until September at the earliest. 

It's very disappointing to see that 489 and 491 visa holders are being lumped into the same boat as temporary visas.   

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks both for your responses!

 

Its very disappointing that our visa means we can’t enter, especially as time is of the essence in a way with it only being a 5 year visa. If the borders don’t open until next year we will only have 3.5 years and the criteria to be eligible for PR is already quite tough. 
 

Feeling very deflated 😔

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello both! 

There was a report whereby it was apparently mentioned that long term skilled visas was the logical next step. I agree I cannot see the borders being opened for possibly 12 months fully, to tourists etc. However, I am hopeful that further visas I. E the 491 may be added to the OK to enter list, at least by say the end of the year (hinted by the tourism minister)... 

https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/tourism-minister-hints-at-possibility-of-allowing-longer-term-work-visa-holders-after-international-students

I guess all we can do is monitor and stay positive. I agree though these little secondary waves are not helping things 😑😑

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Sad 2

143 visa lodged 4.10.15

heading to the sunshine coast (caloundra)

extra documents requested 18/7/2019

aos submitted 25/7/2019

police checks completed  1/9/2019

form 80 completed 3/9/2019

medical taken 7/9/2019

aos submitted 2.12.19

aos accepted 8/1/2020

2nd vac request 23.1.2020

2nd vac paid 27.1.2020

visa granted 28.1.2020

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, kimboslice said:

Oh dear 😩

Surely they can’t keep existing visa holders out though? I understand not granting any new ones but I really feel like the people who have a visa that’s not PR at the moment are being totally shafted. 
The 491 especially was sold as basically an equivalent but with a pathway to PR. I can’t believe I paid so much money and spent so much time on a visa that’s not worth anything at all and we’re being treated so differently even though the application process was literally the same.

I hope that things change over the coming months and the government allows some visa holders in! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People that have already been granted visas are ok. 

19 minutes ago, PickledRic said:

Oh dear 😩

Surely they can’t keep existing visa holders out though? I understand not granting any new ones but I really feel like the people who have a visa that’s not PR at the moment are being totally shafted. 
The 491 especially was sold as basically an equivalent but with a pathway to PR. I can’t believe I paid so much money and spent so much time on a visa that’s not worth anything at all and we’re being treated so differently even though the application process was literally the same.

I hope that things change over the coming months and the government allows some visa holders in! 

 


143 visa lodged 4.10.15

heading to the sunshine coast (caloundra)

extra documents requested 18/7/2019

aos submitted 25/7/2019

police checks completed  1/9/2019

form 80 completed 3/9/2019

medical taken 7/9/2019

aos submitted 2.12.19

aos accepted 8/1/2020

2nd vac request 23.1.2020

2nd vac paid 27.1.2020

visa granted 28.1.2020

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, kimboslice said:

People that have already been granted visas are ok. 

 

 


143 visa lodged 4.10.15

heading to the sunshine coast (caloundra)

extra documents requested 18/7/2019

aos submitted 25/7/2019

police checks completed  1/9/2019

form 80 completed 3/9/2019

medical taken 7/9/2019

aos submitted 2.12.19

aos accepted 8/1/2020

2nd vac request 23.1.2020

2nd vac paid 27.1.2020

visa granted 28.1.2020

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, PickledRic said:

The 491 especially was sold as basically an equivalent but with a pathway to PR. I can’t believe I paid so much money and spent so much time on a visa that’s not worth anything at all and we’re being treated so differently even though the application process was literally the same.

You're right, the 491 is sold as a pathway to PR. The whole idea of the visa is to attract migrants who will settle and stay in rural and regional areas.   I was gobsmacked when I discovered they were being lumped in with other temporary visas.   Legally speaking, the 491 is temporary, which is why it's got caught in the trap.

The shutdown is very hard on 482 visa holders, too, but I  can at least see the logic of not allowing employer-sponsored visas - there's going to be high unemployment from now on, so local candidates should be easier to get, and besides many of those employers will be cutting staff or closing down altogether.   


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, kimboslice said:

People that have already been granted visas are ok. 

 

Not if their visa is temporary or provisional.   Apparently there are hundreds of temporary visa holders stranded outside Australia.  Their home is in Australia because that's where they've been working, but as temp visa holders they have no right of entry - and they're being refused exemptions too.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

You're right, the 491 is sold as a pathway to PR. The whole idea of the visa is to attract migrants who will settle and stay in rural and regional areas.   I was gobsmacked when I discovered they were being lumped in with other temporary visas.   Legally speaking, the 491 is temporary, which is why it's got caught in the trap.

The shutdown is very hard on 482 visa holders, too, but I  can at least see the logic of not allowing employer-sponsored visas - there's going to be high unemployment from now on, so local candidates should be easier to get, and besides many of those employers will be cutting staff or closing down altogether.   

It’s enough to make me want to challenge it but I doubt I’d get anywhere and I doubt many people would have any sympathy at the moment with everything going on 😕

I just feel very frustrated that the visa we fought so hard to get isn’t worth anything. The fact that people can still travel to Australia because they have a PR visa feels very unfair especially when for many, it’s their first visit. But I guess that’s life! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, PickledRic said:

It’s enough to make me want to challenge it but I doubt I’d get anywhere and I doubt many people would have any sympathy at the moment with everything going on 😕

I just feel very frustrated that the visa we fought so hard to get isn’t worth anything. The fact that people can still travel to Australia because they have a PR visa feels very unfair especially when for many, it’s their first visit. But I guess that’s life! 

I totally agree with you both. It has many of the same rights and entitlements as the 190 and 189 visas so it does feel like we have been hard done by. Furthermore I do worry that as suspect many of the 491 grants will have been onshore, they've forgotten about those few of us stuck offshore who were given these new visas. 

Even a mention or acknowledgement to say we haven't forgotten about you would be great 😁 

Madeleine 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey. I've got a 489 so similar boat really, granted after November 2019 so even more similar. 

I'm not really focusing on too much what the governments say (that's not to say I'm ignoring it) I'm focusing the medical, Health & Social Care and science world and a lot is pointing towards a second spike in the UK this winter so I'm not making any imminent plans to leave. I'm sad to see the visa just ticking down but there is nothing I can do about it so I've got a new flat here in the UK and I'm just going to enjoy this bonus time here with family & friends and save some more money.

It's very gutting but what can we all do really? If and when they do open to 489/491 I'll take a holiday (I've booked 2 weeks off next March) just so I've entered Aus and "activated" my visa and that's off my mind, if i then can't fulfil criteria for 887 I'll worry about that further down the line but my contingency plan is the new qualification and post qualification time I'll have and applying for a 190/189 but like I say - I'll cross that bridge if and when the time comes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×