With Coronavirus pandemic has been continuously plaguing us over the past few weeks, the legal landscape has been hit by a bus in the form of new legislative instrument, law and policy with profound implications on our daily lives. In this post, we are highlighting some important matters affecting thousands of people in Australia today.
For the creditor to issue bankruptcy notice to the debtor the debt threshold will increase to $20,000 from the current $5000. Once issued with a bankruptcy notice the debtor will have six months to pay the debt as opposed to current 21 days.
Residential Tenancy Law:
If you are unable to pay your rent owing to sudden loss of your employment, it is very important that you inform your landlord and/or Agent about your situation in writing requesting for a rent relief for certain period of time or offering a lower rent if your financial circumstances allows you to do that. If you are still unable to find a satisfactory solution, you could contact Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services on (02) 8117 3700. Please remember that even if you are an international student or currently holding any kind of temporary visa in Australia, Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services could still assist you.
Commercial/Retail Tenancy Issue:
As to the Commercial and Retail lease matter, firstly you need to identify the nature of the impact of Covid-19 on your business. If you still have access to your business premise but your business is not generating any income because of the economic downturn, then it is advisable to approach your landlord requesting for a rent relief or rental discount enabling you to sustain though this challenging time. On the other hand, if the restriction imposed by the Government led your access to the business premise being effectively denied then your position in respect to rent reduction becomes stronger since an argument can be advanced in support of the fact that the contract for the period of restriction was frustrated.
482 Visa Holders
If you are on a temporary work visa (subclass 482) in Australia, condition 8607(5) applies to you which requires among other things, that you must not cease employment for more than 60 consecutive days. At the time of writing this post, there is no leniency to this requirement. If you stop working for more than 60 days, the Department may contact you and start the process of cancelling your visa. It is imperative that you respond to the Department in a timely and professional manner. We hope that there is some leniency to this requirement in the context of Coronavirus.
Visa Refusal and Visa Cancellation Appeal matters
Visa refusal and cancellation “in person” hearings at AAT was replaced by Telephone hearings. Where decision can be made “on the paper”, AAT advised that this will be done “on the paper”. This is why it is imperative to prepare your appeal application to the AAT with professional submission along with appropriate documentary evidence.
No Further Stay Condition Waiver
No Further Stay Condition (8503, 8534 and 8535) waiver request can be made in writing. It is important to understand that if you are impacted by travel ban and No Further Stay condition applies to your visa which is expiring soon, you need to take initiative to apply for 8503 waiver request and apply for a substantive visa so that you could remain in Australia lawfully. Failure to take appropriate steps may impact your future visa application.
Bridging Visa B Holders:
If you are currently outside Australia with a Bridging visa B, and you are unable to return before the expiration of your Bridging visa B, you can not extend your BVB travel period. You need to apply for another visa once the travel ban is lifted. In the meantime, the time limit to apply for 485 visa still applies. As the situation is complex it is important to seek appropriate advice from an experienced Immigration Lawyer.
Family Law Matters:
All Family Law related applications can be made online.
If you need professional assistance in relation to your legal matter, you could contact us on (02) 8379 1811 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. In line with Social distancing rules and Government restrictions, we temporarily phased out all face to face meeting in favour of online meeting. We hope you are staying healthy and safe during this time.