We urge the Department to include 188 visa holders as exemptions from travel restrictions

We urge the Department to include 188 visa holders as exemptions from travel restrictions

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keshao yin started this petition to Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

In March 2020, The Department of Home Affairs announced travel restriction, only Australian citizen, PR, eligible New Zealand citizens and their immediate family members are allowed to enter Australia. Very limited exemptions are in place, unfortunately 188 visa holders do not have any. So this petition is to bring to your kind attention and to request to include 188 visa holders as exemptions from the travel restrictions.

Although 188 visa is a temporary visa, it is part of a two-step pathway to permanent visa. 188 visa holders have made commitment to live in Australia, to make contribution to this community. Many of them have already settled in Australia, their kids attend local schools just like local students, following the same enrollment requirement, paying the same amount of tuition fees. 188 visa holders run business just like local businessmen, creating local jobs, providing services to the local community. Now because of the restriction, their immediate family members (who are also 188 visa holders) are unable to return to Australia, they are forced to be separated from each other, some even have been diagnosed with major depression.

Moreover, 188 visa requires the visa holder to operate businesses and/or manage investments in Australia, as well as meet certain residence requirement. However, because of the travel restriction, many of 188 visa holders are unable to return to Australia to fulfill their visa obligations. For 188a visa holders, they are unable to start their business or manage their business; For 188b visa holders, they are unable to meet 2 years residence requirement and 188b visa is not extendable; Although 188c’s residence requirement is not high, it still affects many visa holders. So far the Department of Home Affairs has no legislation changes or adjustments for 188 visa holders, which means many may be forced to fail their permanent visa requirements. It is so unfair.

188 visa holders play a very important role in Australian community, we kindly request the Department of Home Affairs to ease the travel restriction on them. They value the safety of our Australian community, they will undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities if they are approved to travel back.

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At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!