Visa deal a win for Aussies
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.