Immigration minister announces ban on visas to Ebola-hit countries

28 Oct 14

AUSTRALIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Australia has halted all immigration and visa procedures for nationals of three West African countries.

What does the change mean? Citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will not be able to apply for visas or humanitarian entry, and even those who already hold temporary visas who have not yet entered Australia will have their visas cancelled.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas under immigration and humanitarian programs.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Impact on processing: Processing of visa applications has ceased for nationals of the three countries.
  • Business impact: The move by the Australian Government will disrupt assignments for nationals of the three countries.

Background: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced the visa ban in Parliament today, placing Australia among a very small minority of countries that have gone so far as suspending all visas. The move coincides with the suspected Ebola case of an 18-year old girl from Guinea in Queensland that turned out to be a false alarm when she tested negative for the virus. Nineteen people from West Africa have been put under home quarantine by the Government.

The Government will cancel previously issued nonpermanent or temporary visas to nationals of the three countries who have not yet travelled to Australia. Those who hold permanent visas will be required to submit to a 21-day quarantine period before departure to Australia.

BAL Analysis: Among the varied responses to the Ebola outbreak globally, Australia’s visa ban represents the policies of a very small but perhaps growing minority of countries.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact australia@balglobal.com.

MARN: 9683856

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@balglobal.com.