How is COVID-19 Affecting Irish Working Abroad on Short-term Visas?
COVID-19 and your Irish short-term visa
The Visa First team is fielding a large volume of calls from Irish people both at home and abroad.
They are concerned over the implications of COVID-19 on the working holiday or business visa they currently hold – or a visa that they have already applied for and which is currently being processed.
Due to changes and restrictions being implemented by countries all around the world, certain visas are now being granted, but with suspensions, while others have been put on hold altogether.
Each day more and more countries are closing their borders and the most recent to do so are Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Many more countries that could potentially go into lockdown with very little notice.
We advise Irish citizens to adhere to the travel guidelines from the Department of Foreign Affairs and from their closest Irish Embassy. It is important for Irish people to be prepared to deal with the situation in the best possible way. For many, this will mean returning home to Ireland as they will otherwise risk overstaying their visa as more countries close their borders.
Many immigration departments have said that they will show understanding due to the current situation. Some countries will allow foreign citizens to extend their visas due to “force majeure” circumstances. However, any person with an expiring visa status must contact the relevant authorities for advice on how to obtain an extension or get alternative permission.
It’s possible for companies to temporarily suspend the recruitment of non-European economic area nationals until the Covid-19 crisis has passed.
Your visa application
We are still processing visa applications that are being approved, but many of them are with suspensions due to the travel restrictions in countries like India, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. That being said, your visa could be granted, but it will essentially be invalid until a future date depending on how the situation evolves in the next few weeks.
The Russian Embassy has temporarily suspended acceptance of documents and processing of visa applications for foreign citizens and stateless persons of all categories of visas (except for diplomatic and official).
Private visas in emergency cases related to the death of a close relative will be still issued.
Extending your visa
If you are overseas and intending to extend your current visa, the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak will no doubt have raised a number of concerns.
For instance, in order to extend certain visas, you must be outside the country to apply. The Australian second year working holiday visa is one example.
Many Irish backpackers typically travel to nearby countries, such as Thailand to apply for their extension, which is now not possible. Whether the Australian government will change this requirement due to the current situation in the near future is not clear yet.
We advise our customers to regularly check our blog posts or reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org for the latest updates.