BSMQ has been receiving enquiries regarding ‘the first date of entry’ for state nominated visas granted offshore.
The Department of Home Affairs is aware that visa holders may not be able to travel to Australia by ‘first date of entry’ detailed on the visa grant letter due to COVID-19 restrictions, and has released the below notices to allow entry flexibility after this date.
If you were outside Australia when you were granted one of the Queensland state nominated business or skilled visas then your visa grant is subject to visa Condition 8504 which provides that:
The holder must enter Australia as the holder of the visa to which the condition applies before a date specified by the Minister.
This condition requires that each visa holder must make their first entry into Australia before the “For first entry, arrive by” date specified in the “Grant Notification” letter. Under the Migration Act 1958, failure to comply with visa conditions can render a visa liable for cancellation.
The Department of Home Affairs (HA) is aware there will be circumstances when you and/or family members (who were granted a visa as part of your application) may not be able to comply with this condition, for example due to global travel restrictions (as above).
Generally HA will not seek to cancel a state nominated visa where the only reason for doing so would be breach of Condition 8504.
If your ‘first date of entry’ has passed you must continue to hold a valid visa to travel to Australia (and it is advised you travel with the relevant notice if this is your situation), and you must still obtain an individual exemption to travel if granted a provisional visa.