Visa changes introduced to assist applicants through COVID19!

In recognition of the serious impact that COVID19 has had on the Australian economy and also on visa applicants, the government has introduced various amendments to the existing Migration Regulations, to assist certain visa applicants and also visa holders adversely affected by COVID-19.

These amendments are also intended to assist in attracting exceptional Global Talent applicants to Australia.

  • Onshore grants for offshore visa applications –certain family visas such as Subclass 101 (Child), 102 (Adoption), 300 (Prospective Marriage), 309 (Partner (Provisional)) and 445 (Dependent Child) visas), for which the applicant would normally be required to be outside Australia when the visa is granted, can now be granted to an applicant who is in Australia and is affected by COVID-19 related travel restrictions, in certain circumstances.
  • Subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage) visas – the amendments enable the grant of a Subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage) visa with a validity period that is longer than the current 9 months (but not longer than 15 months), in order to assist applicants who have been impacted by COVID-19 related travel restrictions. These amendments apply to Subclass 300 visas granted on or after 27 February 2021, whether the application was made before, on or after that date, so that existing applicants can benefit from this change.
  • Temporary Skill Shortage (Class GK) visas –a nil visa application charge (VAC) is payable by Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa applicants who previously held a relevant temporary skilled work visa (a Subclass 482 visa or a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa) and were unable to enter Australia as a result of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are seeking a Subclass 482 visa to enter Australia.
  • Distinguished Talent (Class BX) visas – the subclass 858 Distinguished Talent visa has now had a name change to Global Talent visa to reflect a focus on the Government’s Global Talent Program, and provides for grant of the visa to applicants who are endorsed by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Global Business and Talent Attraction and who are likely to make a significant contribution to the Australian economy. From 27th Feb 2021, there would be a dedicated pathway for applicants endorsed by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Global Business and Talent Attraction to make a valid visa application for the 858 Global Talent Visa. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Global Business and Talent Attraction is a new position that has been created to head the Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce (Taskforce). The applicant will require endorsement from the Special Envoy to access the new dedicated SC 858 pathway, on the basis of exceptional talent or a high value business which will potentially create jobs and contribute to the Australian economy.

The above list and details are not extensive and the important action to take here is to contact our office for further information and advise on the way forward.

Reach out to our team of Immigration lawyers and specialists, that would be glad to assist you.

Call us on +61 2 8233 6191.

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