COVID-19 Concessions Visas | Interstaff Insights
COVID-19 Concessions are available during the pandemic to assist visa holders that are disadvantaged by border closures, business restrictions or the economic downturn.
In some cases, visa applicants may have additional time to enter the country. Other applicants may no longer need to meet specific requirements to be in or outside Australia at the time of their visa grant.
These concessions are available temporarily during the COVID-19 Concession period: 2 February 2020 until a closing date specified by the Government (this is yet to be advised). Find out about temporary COVID-19 concessions that may be available for the below visa types:
- Parent Visas
- Partner Visas
- Child Visas
- Skilled Regional Visas
- Other Visas – Business Innovation and Investment Visas and Graduate Visas
COVID-19 Concessions for Parent Visa Holders
870 Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa Holders
The 870 Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa allows parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents to come to Australia for a visa period of 3 or 5 years with the option to extend to 10 years if eligible. The 870 visa may be more accessible than other parent visa options because it does not require a ‘Balance of Family’ test – find out more here.
Under a new COVID-19 concession, Subclass 870 Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa Holders that were outside Australia on 1 July 2021 may be able to have their visa automatically extended by 18 months. The Department of Home Affairs will notify eligible visa holders in writing.
The concession will assist visa holders who have been unable to spend the full 3 or 5 years on their visa in Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
103 Parent Visa and 173 and 143 Contributory Parent Visa Applicants
As mentioned in our previous article, Subclass 103 Parent Visa applicants and Subclass 173 and 143 Contributory Parent Visa applicants may be able to access a COVID-19 concession to have their visa granted from within Australia.
These applicants must have been in Australia on 24 March 2021 – conditions apply. Usually these visa applicants are subject to visa conditions that require them to be outside of Australia to have their visa granted.
804 Aged Parent Visa and 864 Contributory Aged Parent Visa Applicants
In contrast, 804 Aged Parent Visa and 864 Contributory Aged Parent Visa applicants usually need to be in Australia to have their visa granted.
A COVID-19 concession may allow these applicants to have their visa granted if they were outside of the country on 24 March 2021. You can read about different Parent Visa options here.
COVID-19 Concessions for Partner and Child Visa Applicants/Holders
As per our previous article, COVID-19 concessions may also be available to applicants for the below visas:
- 101 Child Visa
- 102 Adoption Visa
- 445 Dependent Child Visa
- 300 Prospective Marriage Visa
- 309 Partner Visa
Individuals who applied for the above visas from outside Australia during the COVID-19 concession period, but have been in Australia during that period, may be able to have their visa granted in Australia. All other visa requirements must be met.
COVID-19 Concessions for 887 Skilled Regional Visa Applicants
The 887 Skilled Regional Visa provides Permanent Residence to people who have lived and worked in specified areas of regional Australia on a previous, eligible visa.
Concessions for the eligibility and lodgement requirements may be available for 887 Skilled Regional Visa applicants.
Eligible applicants outside Australia may use a concession to:
- Apply from outside Australia during the concession period and be granted their 887 visa while outside of the country
- Lodge their 877 visa during the concession period with access to:
- shorter employment requirements – at least 9 months full-time work in a specified regional area instead of the standard 12 months
- shorter residence requirements – 18 months of residence in a specified regional area – instead of the standard 24 months
Applicants inside Australia may also be able to lodge their 887 Skilled Regional Visa during the concession period with access to shorter employment requirements of at least 9 months full-time work in a specified regional area.
However, the standard 24 months of residence in a specified regional area is still required for onshore applicants.
COVID-19 Concessions for Other Visa Applicants/Holders
Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa applicants may be able to apply for and be granted their visa from outside Australia if they are impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions. They must hold or have held a Student Visa in the past 12 months to apply.
485 Temporary Graduate Visas allow international students to live and work in Australia after completing their studies.
Concessions may also be available for Subclass 188 and 888 Business Innovation and Investment Visas – you may wish to seek professional advice to find out how they may apply to your circumstances.
Interstaff | Over 30 years of Australian visa experience
It is great to see concessions are available to assist visa holders. We hope this was helpful – you may also be interested in our other articles:
More Occupations Eligible for Skilled Migration to WA
Priority Skilled Visas
Leaving Australia | Outbound Travel Exemptions
Critical Work and Compassionate Travel Exemptions to Come to Australia
Applying for a Partner Visa in the COVID-19 Era
Should you require advice on your Visa or Travel Exemption options, we encourage you to get in touch with Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents to arrange a consultation so we can consider your circumstances.
We provide advice on visa and sponsorship options to both businesses and visa holders.