News

30 June 2020
Novel Coronavirus Community Update – Department of Home Affairs

Dear Community Leaders
Thank you again for your level of engagement with us and the support you have offered to your communities through the immediate response and now into our recovery phase.

South Australian Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions
As you would have seen, the South Australian Government continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions. To ensure your communities do not experience any confusion please ensure they are directed to official information at https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/recovery

A more detailed factsheet on Step 3 easing of restrictions from Monday 29 June 2020, can be found here.

Racism and Discrimination Campaign
The Australian Government’s stance on racism is clear, as demonstrated by recent comments from the Prime Minister and other Ministers calling out and condemning racist attacks.

In addition, the Department of Home Affairs is addressing this issue through:

  • An information campaign developed in consultation with the Australian Human Rights Commission to support the multicultural communities most affected by COVID-19 related racism, and to encourage people to speak up if they experience or witness racism (see campaign webpage at www.australia.gov.au/helpstopracism and translated content at https://covid19inlanguage.homeaffairs.gov.au/racism-not-acceptable)
  • Working with digital industry to remove racist content online and referring content to the Australian Federal Police for consideration.

Who can give migration advice?
Anyone who needs immigration assistance should first check the online register of Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) https://www.mara.gov.au/ before paying for the services of a migration agent.

A Bill recently passed through Parliament – the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2019 – that will mean lawyers will no longer need to register with Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) to provide immigration assistance. It’s important to know that this change won’t actually happen for several months and, until then, lawyers still need to register with the OMARA.

Before that change happens, the Department of Home Affairs will provide more information to the community to explain how to access immigration advice under the new system.

The media release announcing the passage of the Bill is on the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs’ website at: https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/jasonwood/Pages/government-removes-unnecessary-dual-regulation-for-lawyers.aspx

In the meantime, the information in the attached is still current.

Phone and Email Scams
You may be aware that there are a large number of phone and email scams currently targeting member of the community. We ask you to be ensure your communities are aware that scams are happening and be sure to report any scams to ScamWatch. https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

COVID-19 Pandemic event visa
The Department’s website has been updated with further clarity on the COVID-19 Pandemic visa. If you are not working in a critical sector, are unable to return home because of travel restrictions and you can’t meet the requirements for another visa, you may still be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic visa. You’ll need to demonstrate why you can’t meet the requirements for another visa. This could include a statement and evidence that you do not have access to sufficient funds to be able to pay another visa application charge (VAC).

If there are members of your community on temporary visas that are expiring soon, please direct them to the Department’s website that will assist them explore potential visa options: I have a temporary visa.

Ensuring we remain connected with your communities continues to be a high priority for the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Government. Your feedback is vital to the Department and informs policy, decision making and government messaging. Please continue to pass your concerns and questions to us.

In particular, we are very interested in your views and feedback on the following:

  • Any community concerns
  • Racism or discrimination
  • Reception to government messaging
  • Community misconceptions
  • Issues related to travel restrictions and associated processes
  • Instances of misinformation or scams targeting your community
  • Any new economic impacts on the community
  • Any other emerging community issues.

If you would like to stop receiving this email, please advise us accordingly.

Please continue to encourage your communities to download the Coronavirus Australia app and to check www.australia.gov.au for the latest information.

Upcoming Events
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Wed 30 September — Thu 31 December Migrant and Refugee Women in Australia Survey + View more
Mon 7 September — Fri 16 October Young Migrant Achievers Award 2020 + View more
Mon 24 August — Thu 31 December MEGT + View more
Mon 24 August — Thu 31 December Nelvin Electrical + View more
Wed 2 September — Thu 29 October Women’s Employment into Action (WEIA) Program + View more
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