On 12 February 2021, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) announced wide-ranging concessions to lodged visas affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the travel restrictions imposed on entering and departing Australia.

 

Onshore Approvals for the Following Visas

From 27 February 2021, applicants who currently have one of the five types of visas below lodged or pending decision and who happen to be currently in Australia will be able to have their visas approved without the requirement to be outside Australia at the time of grant:

  • Subclass 101: Child Permanent Residence Visa;
  • Subclass 102: Adoption Permanent Visa;
  • Subclass 300: Prospective Marriage Temporary Residence Visa;
  • Subclass 309: Partner Temporary Residence Visa; and
  • Subclass 445: Dependent Child Temporary Residence Visa.

 

From 24 March 2021, applicants who currently have one of the three types of visas below lodged or pending decision and who happen to be currently in Australia will be able to have their visas approved without the requirement to be outside Australia at the time of grant:

  • Subclass 103: Parent Permanent Residence Visa;
  • Subclass 143: Contributory Parent Permanent Residence Visa; and
  • Subclass 173: Contributory Parent Temporary Residence Visa.

 

Offshore 485 Visa Applications Permitted

The concession granted on 1 February 2021 to applicants for a Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa has been extended. Eligible applicants may now apply for (and be granted) a 485 visa while they are outside Australia without the requirement to be in Australia at the time of grant. These concessions were extended to all the three 485 visa streams:

  • Graduate Work Stream;
  • Post Study Work Stream; and
  • Second Post Study Work Stream.

 

Residency Requirements Reduced for 888 Visa Applications

The concession granted on 01 February 2021 to applicants for an 888 Business Innovation and Investment Permanent Residence Visa has been extended.

If a person holds a 188 Business Innovation and Investment Temporary Residence Visa (Business Innovation Stream); or a 188 Business Innovation and Investment Temporary Residence Visa (Business Innovation Extension Stream) that was approved on or before 30 June 2019, then any period of time the 188 visa holder spends overseas may be counted as being time spent in Australia to fulfil the residency requirement of being “physically present” in Australia for a least 1 year in the 2 years immediately before they apply for an 888 Business Innovation and Investment Permanent Residence Visa.

 

Regional Permanent Residence 887 Visa Concessions For Applicants outside Australia

The concession granted on 01 February 2021 to applicants for a Subclass 887 Skilled Regional Permanent Residence Visa has been extended. Eligible applicants may now apply for (and be granted) an 887 visa while they are outside Australia without the requirement to be in Australia at the time of grant.

In addition, offshore-based 887 visa applicants only now need to demonstrate they have:

  • Undertaken 9 months (instead of 12 months) full-time work in a specified regional area; and
  • Lived for 18 months (instead of 24 months) in a specified regional area.

 

Regional Permanent Residence 887 Visa Concessions For Applicants in Australia

Eligible applicants for a Subclass 887 Skilled Regional Permanent Residence Visa who are currently in Australia are still required to meet the 2 years of residence in a specified regional area but they now only need to demonstrate that they have undertaken 9 months (instead of 12 months) full-time work in a specified regional area.

You can review a full list of Specified Regional Areas on the DOHA website.  

 

SHEV Pathway Concessions

The concession granted on 1 February 2021 to holders of Subclass 790 Safe Haven Enterprise Temporary Residence Visas (SHEV) has been extended. Those who hold temporary residence 790 SHEVs must meet certain pathways to be eligible to apply for other permanent residence visas (but not 866 Protection Permanent Residence Visa). If a SHEV holder does not fulfil certain pathways, this usually prohibits applying for certain other permanent residence visas.

The extended concessions granted to 790 SHEV holder who:

  • accessed any Special Benefit payments; or
  • is or has been unemployed, or
  • worked outside a SHEV regional area in an essential service,

 

This enables them to claim the period of time towards the particular pathway for their choice of permanent residence visa they intend to lodge in future.

A full list of SHEV Regional Areas may be found on the DOHA website.

 

Sources

Migration Institute of Australia: https://www.mia.org.au

Department of Home Affairs: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/covid-19-visa-concessions

 

 

About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.

 

Disclaimer

The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.

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