Australian Study Requirement Updated


The Australian Study requirement that is relevant in relation to various independent skilled visas, has recently been updated to take into account travel results caused by the Covid pandemic:

The requirements that overseas students can study up to 25% of their course online and visa applicants must have been physically present in Australia for study to count towards meeting the Australian study requirement will not be applied to COVID-19 impacted Subclass 485 visa applicants.

Subclass 485 visa applicants who were studying offshore on an Australian visa authorising the applicant to study and not permitted to travel to Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic will be allowed an unlimited amount of offshore online study to count towards the Australian study requirement. This flexibility will remain in place as long as COVID-19 impacts remain.

Updated Character Test


The government has announced in a media release that a new character test criterion will be introduced, under a Ministerial Direction in relation to Visa refusal and cancellation under section 501 of the Migration Act and revocation of a mandatory cancellation of a visa under section 501CA of the Migration Act.

This requires that crimes or conduct involving family violence are to be given primary consideration in decision making. The following crimes or conduct are to be considered as very serious:

  • violent and/or sexual crimes
  • crimes of a violent nature against women and children, regardless of the sentence imposed
  • acts of family violence, regardless of the sentence imposed (a broad list of examples of actions that may be considered family violence are provided).

The following crimes or conduct are consider to be serious:

  • causing a person to enter into a forced marriage, regardless of whether convicted of an offence or the sentence imposed
  • crimes against vulnerable people such as the elderly, disabled, government representatives or officials
  • crimes committed in immigration detention, during an escape or after escape from a detention centre
  • crimes against humanity, people trafficking and worker exploitation

The new Ministerial Direction comes into effect on 15 April 2021.

This newsletter only provides general information related to current migration matters. The information contained in this communication does not constitute specific migration advice, and should not be construed or relied on as such. Professional advice should be sought for the specifics of your situation prior to any action being taken. BD Welsh and Co disclaims any liability (including, without limitation, for any direct or indirect or consequential costs, loss or damage or loss of profits) arising from anything done or omitted to be done by any party in reliance, whether wholly or partially, on any of the information contained in this newsletter. Any party that relies on the information does so at its own risk. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.