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Must Arrive Before Dates – Information for Skilled Visa Holders Outside Australia

28 September 2020

Must arrive dates

If your visa is granted to you whilst you are outside of Australia, the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) will provide you with a date called a ‘Must arrive before date’ on your visa grant notice. The coronavirus pandemic has caused major issues for visa holders trying to enter Australia before this date, however a recent announcement sheds some light on how the Department intends to deal with this issue moving forward.

If you are outside of Australia and hold one of the following visas:

You will have a date on your visa grant notice that specifies when you must first enter Australia by. In normal circumstances (prior to COVID-19 pandemic), if you did not enter Australia by this date, you would breach a condition of the visa (condition 8504) which would then provide the Department of Home Affairs the power to cancel the visa. It is important to note that there is no power to extend the ‘must arrive before date’ once the visa is granted.

To address the issues of not being able to enter Australia due to the current travel restrictions, the Department of Home Affairs will also have provided you with a notice to carry to Australia and present to the airline and Border Force upon arrival in Australia.

Permission to travel

To travel to Australia under the current restrictions, you will still need to either fall into an exempt category or have a permission granted to enter Australia by the Border Force Commissioner. For information regarding whether you are exempt to enter Australia or qualify for a permission to travel, please see our blog on travel exemptions and permissions.

We note the above is information only and is not legal advice. This information is current as at the time of publishing. We recommend you speak to one of our migration lawyers for a free 10 minute phone or video call to discuss your visa application if you have any questions. 

An experienced migration lawyer can make all the difference when you need.