COVID-19 affected WHM visa?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific COVID-19 affected WHM visa?

1. Posted by PaulAllen (Budding Member 6 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Here's the link to what I'm referencing below: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/whm-program/latest-news

Under 'Offshore nil Visa Application Charge (VAC) WHM applications' it states...

"From 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2022, eligible holders and former holders of a COVID-19 affected WHM visa who are outside Australia can make an offshore nil VAC WHM application online. This includes WHMs who were unable to come to Australia or had to leave early because of COVID-19."

But then when I click on 'more information' it states...

"You may apply if you last held a ‘COVID-19 affected WHM visa’, which for the purposes of an offshore nil VAC WHM application, is defined as you meeting the following:
the last WHM visa you held was a subclass 417 or 462 visa granted before 20 March 2020;
your WHM visa expired between 20 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 while you were outside Australia; and
you did not travel to Australia on your WHM visa or departed Australia before your visa expired.
"

I'm just confused because the the information is contradicting. I left early on my first WHV in March 2020 because of COVID. The first page would suggest that I'm able to re-apply, but then after clicking more info it suggests that I'm ineligible.

Anyone have more info, or know of an email/phone number I could contact to get more info?

Thanks in advance.

[ Edit: Edited on 9 Aug 2022, 01:31 GMT by PaulAllen ]

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5809 posts) 7w 1 Star this if you like it!

I'm not seeing the contradiction, and assuming your WHV would've been valid until after 20 March 2020 (and that you're not yet 31), it sounds like you should indeed be eligible.

Assuming the bolded part is where you see the contradiction:
"This includes WHMs who were unable to come to Australia" is the equivalent of "you did not travel to Australia on your WHM visa" (doesn't apply to you).
"had to leave early because of COVID-19" is the equivalent of "departed Australia before your visa expired." (presumably applies to you).

20 March 2020 was the date on which Australia closed its borders, so it sounds like that date was chosen primarily as the cutoff point for people who simply couldn't enter Australia anymore, but that date isn't relevant for when you left - only for when the visa would've expired.

Hypothetically, if you entered 2 april 2019, your WHV would've been valid until 1 april 2020. So as long as you left no later than 30 march 2020, you would've left before your visa expired, and so would be eligible.

If that doesn't clear things up: Maybe give the exact details of your old WHV (which subclass, when exactly did you enter and leave Australia), and point to which particular condition you feel you're not meeting?

3. Posted by PaulAllen (Budding Member 6 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Sander

I'm not seeing the contradiction, and assuming your WHV would've been valid until after 20 March 2020 (and that you're not yet 31), it sounds like you should indeed be eligible.

Assuming the bolded part is where you see the contradiction:
"This includes WHMs who were unable to come to Australia" is the equivalent of "you did not travel to Australia on your WHM visa" (doesn't apply to you).
"had to leave early because of COVID-19" is the equivalent of "departed Australia before your visa expired." (presumably applies to you).

20 March 2020 was the date on which Australia closed its borders, so it sounds like that date was chosen primarily as the cutoff point for people who simply couldn't enter Australia anymore, but that date isn't relevant for when you left - only for when the visa would've expired.

Hypothetically, if you entered 2 april 2019, your WHV would've been valid until 1 april 2020. So as long as you left no later than 30 march 2020, you would've left before your visa expired, and so would be eligible.

If that doesn't clear things up: Maybe give the exact details of your old WHV (which subclass, when exactly did you enter and leave Australia), and point to which particular condition you feel you're not meeting?

Thanks for your response. The part that is confusing me, perhaps I’m interpreting it incorrectly, is the second sentence I put in bold where it says ‘and you did not travel to Australia on your WHV.’ I’m interpreting that as ‘if you were already in AUS when COVID started you’re out of luck - if you applied for the WHV and ended up not using your WHV because of COVID, re-apply.’

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2636 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

I go with Sander's interpretation. Otherwise there is no need for the text "or departed Australia before your visa expired".

5. Posted by PaulAllen (Budding Member 6 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

I go with Sander's interpretation. Otherwise there is no need for the text "or departed Australia before your visa expired".

It’s just the latter half of…

“your WHM visa expired between 20 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 while you were outside Australia; and
you did not travel to Australia on your WHM visa or departed Australia before your visa expired“

that’s throwing me because I did travel to Aus on my WHV and departed before it expired. Am I completely misinterpreting that? Mine expired December 27/2021.

6. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2636 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

You departed Aus before your visa expired? Then that last bit applies to you.

What other circumstance can you think of where that section could apply?

7. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1866 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Completely agree with the above. It says, ; and you did not travel to Australia on your WHM visa or departed Australia before your visa expired."

Simply, you departed Australia before your visa expired so you are eligible. You are making it too complicated.

8. Posted by PaulAllen (Budding Member 6 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

I think what was throwing me was the fact that they use 'and' instead of 'or'. I ended up just applying for it and was granted it.

Thanks