May 14, 2021

Visa holders unable to entry to Australia by MUST NOT ARRIVE AFTER date

If you have been granted one of the visas listed below and you are unable to make your first entry into Australia by the date specified in your Grant Notification letter, you should read the following important information.

  •  Skilled Independent (subclass 189 – Points-Tested and New Zealand Pathways)
  • Skilled Nominated (subclass 190)
  •  Skilled Regional (subclass 489)
  •  Skilled-Regional (subclass 887)
  • Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491)

Due to COVID-19 impacts on travel, there will be circumstances where some visa holders can’t arrive in Australia by the initial entry date. In this case, holders of valid skilled visas can still enter Australia after their initial entry date.

Generally, visa holders are permitted to make the first entry into Australia at any time before the “Must not arrive after” date. You will find the “Must not arrive after” date in the visa Grant Notification letter sent when the visa was granted (see highlighted example below).


example must not arrive after


You do not need to be granted an extension to the initial entry date but you must enter Australia by the “Must not arrive after” date. The Department cannot extend the “Must not arrive after” date specified in your visa Grant Notification letter.

Nonetheless, if you are holder of any of the above specified visas and you are not able to make your first entry into Australia before the “Must not arrive after date”, you may wish to carry a copy of the Facilitation Notice below to present to the airline when checking in at the airport and on arrival into Australia. This notice should be sufficient evidence for a travel provider to be satisfied that the visa holder can enter Australia as the holder of a valid Australian visa.

Facilitation Notice

If your visa will cease while you are outside of Australia information about visa options is available from the Department’s website.

You can check visa details and conditions through Visa Entitlement Verification Online system (VEVO).

Information for visa holders impacted by travel restrictions / border closures –

Very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia and you may not be able to travel at this time. You should refer to the Department’s website for information about these restrictions and be aware that this information is updated frequently.


Permanent visa holders

If you hold or held a permanent visa you may be eligible to apply for a Resident Return visa

Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa and 491 visas

The Department is aware there are visa holders who are currently overseas and cannot return to Australia to satisfy work and residence requirements to apply for a permanent visa.

Subclass 489 and 491 visa holders will need to have a travel exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner to enter Australia. Exemptions to travel to Australia are assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Information about applying for an exemption is available on the Department’s website.

For any other inquires, get in touch with us.