Amendments Compilation December 2020
The Australian Government has been busy in the last month, announcing a number of amendments across a wide range of visas. We look at some of the key points below.
Offshore Family Visas
Expected to be implemented in early 2021, Immigration has announced the intention to waive the requirement for certain Family visa applicants to be offshore at the time their visa is granted. This change would mean that applicants who are currently in Australia will not be forced to travel overseas in order to have their visa granted.
The specified visas are:
- Subclass 101 Child Visa;
- Subclass 102 Adoption Visa;
- Subclass 445 Dependent Child Visa;
- Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage Visa;
- Subclass 309 Partner Visa.
Effective from 10 December 2020, Subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa holders who had a valid visa between 6 October 2020 and 10 December 2020 and who were outside Australia have had their visas extended to 31 March 2022
Transitional Arrangements for COVID affected 457 and 482 Visa Holders
Concessions have been introduced for certain 457 and 482 workers who wish to apply for an ENS or RSMS visa through the Temporary Residence Transitional (TRT) stream, but have been affected by work changes due to COVID. The concessions allow them to count periods of employment where they have been on reduced hours or unpaid leave since 1 February 2020 due to the COVID pandemic
towards the 2- or 3-year work requirement.
Unpaid leave or reduced hours prior to 1 February 2020 or that are not related to the COVID pandemic cannot be counted.
In addition, ENS and RSMS TRT applicants who would usually be exempt from the maximum age requirements on the basis of earning higher than the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT), will be able to use a pro-rata threshold which takes into account employment changes due to COVID. The concession period for this change starts from 1 February 2020 and is currently ongoing.
State Migration Program Updates
The Australian States and Territories have finally been allocated their invitation quotas for the 2020/2021 financial year. This means that Nomination programs for Subclass 190 and 491 visas will begin reopening in the following months.
An update on the individual state programs will be available shortly.
Australian Values Statements
Applicants with for new and pending visa applications will be asked to sign an Australian Values Statement, undertaking to conduct themselves in accordance with Australian values and to obey Australian laws during their stay in Australia. A separate Form 1281 will be required until the online systems are updated to capture the new wording of the statement.
PTE English Test Changes
PTE will be adjusting some scores on their test to better align with the IELTS standards. Immigration is still accepting scores as per current regulations and are unlikely to apply the changes to already-lodged applications.
The above is a simplification of complex legislative instruments, and do not cover all of the specific requirements or situations. As legislation is constantly changing, we strongly recommend obtaining advice on your individual situation from a Registered Migration Agent.