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PickledRic

491 visa and coronavirus

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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
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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!

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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.

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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

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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.  

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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

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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 🙂

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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? 

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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. 

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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. 

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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

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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

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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. 

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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

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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 😔

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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 😑😑

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  • 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

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