Herald Sun

Visa deal a win for Aussies

- STEPHEN DRILL EUROPE COR­RE­SPON­DENT UK News · Visa International Service Association · London · United Kingdom · Australia · George Brandis

AUS­TRALIANS want­ing to work in Lon­don have been thrown a coro­n­avirus lifeline, with a new deal to ex­tend visas.

The UK govern­ment will al­low Aus­tralians who had al­ready signed up for a Tier 5 visa, al­lo­cated for peo­ple in their 20s, to de­lay their ar­rival for up to a year.

The deal, which was bro­kered fol­low­ing lob­by­ing from the Aus­tralian High Com­mis­sion in Lon­don, means Aus­tralians’ UK dreams will not be cut short.

Travel bans on peo­ple leav­ing Aus­tralia meant many of those who had al­ready signed up for a visa feared their twoyear stay in the UK would be crimped.

Un­der the deal, a per­son who had a visa due to start in May 2020, could de­lay its start date un­til May 2021 with­out penalty.

The two-year clock would start once they had ar­rived and picked up their Bri­tish res­i­dency per­mit.

Ge­orge Bran­dis, Aus­tralia’s High Com­mis­sioner to the UK, said the de­fer­ral would make a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s travel plans.

“It’s a great rite of pas­sage for young Aus­tralians to live and work in the UK and en­joy its won­der­ful life­style and in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

“That’s why we are very pleased the UK govern­ment is al­low­ing a de­fer­ral of 30-day en­try win­dows for Tier 5 visa hold­ers in light of the COVID-19 sit­u­a­tion. It speaks to the warmth of feel­ing be­tween our two coun­tries.”

More than 45,000 Aus­tralians re­ceive a Tier 5 work­ing hol­i­day visa each year.

Thou­sands of Aus­tralians fled the UK when the coro­n­avirus hit, with Lon­don be­ing the epi­cen­tre of the out­break with more than 5000 deaths.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia