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Coronavirus lockdown: Hundreds fear for Australian permanent residency outcomes

According to a recent article published on the SBS Dateline website, migration agents say they’ve been flooded with calls from Chinese nationals who are worried their Australian visas could expire or become invalid, while they’re locked out of the country.

A hopeful PR applicant, Lara Huang, hadn’t been home for three years when she made the journey back to China to visit her parents for Chinese New Year. Unfortunately, her timing couldn’t have been worse.

Days after she arrived, the coronavirus outbreak worsened and flights from mainland China to Australia were suspended. Now, Lara is at risk of jeopardising her chance at permanent residency.

Lara applied for permanent residency in the ACT under one of the government’s new regional skilled migration schemes after completing her studies in Canberra. Any holiday more than six weeks will affect her application.

“It is very stressful waiting … no-one knows when the travel ban is going to be cancelled,” Lara told SBS Dateline from China.

“I understand why the government has chosen to do this …. but all my plans are in Australia and suddenly that is just paused.”

As well as the six week limit, Lara needs to secure permanent work before her application is finalised. She has recently graduated and had interviews lined up for her return.

“I’ve had to tell all these potential employers ‘hey, I’m really sorry, I can’t come back and I don’t know when I can’,” she said.

“I hope there won’t be any discrimination about [the coronavirus] and I still have the same chance getting a job.

“My friend’s highschool kids are saying they are being bullied, other friends in share-houses were told not to use the common kitchen,” she said.

Lara is one of hundreds of hopeful permanent residents who are now in limbo in China .

Are you currently hoping to gain permanent residency in Australia? Why not let us at TranQuill Legal help you. Contact us today and schedule a migration consultation and we can get the ball rolling.

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