MAJOR PANDEMIC RELATED CONCESSIONS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE PATHWAYS FOR CERTAIN TEMPORARY WORKERS
The Department Home Affairs has announced that from 24th November 2020, temporary workers whose employment has been adversely affected as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, may still qualify for permanent residence if the changes to their employment were:
- Changed as a result of the pandemic, and
- Occurred during the ‘concession period’, which is defined as from 01.02.2020 until further notice. The end date for this period will depend on future economic circumstances effected by the pandemic.
Normally, eligible employees who hold a 457/482 visa are eligible to apply for permanent residence after a qualifying period of full-time work; and periods of unpaid leave, periods of being stood down, and less than full-time hours would not normally be counted towards this period.
Under these concessions, if the above criteria are met, all applications made on or after 01.02.2020, and are still being processed by the Department of Home Affairs will be affected by these concessions.
High Income Related Age Exemption
An age limit of 45 applies to most applicants for s186 permanent visa (50 if subject to existing transitional arrangements). An exemption to this applies to employees who had earnings on or above the Fair Work high income threshold for each of the three years before making the application.
Any employees whose employment is adversely impacted by the pandemic, and were required to work at reduced hours (and reduced pay) as a direct result of the pandemic, should not be disadvantaged of these changes. Please note that any pay received should be on a pro rata basis for any period of reduced hours.
Please contact our office if you require any further details in relation to these changes.
VICTORIA TO OPEN SIV 188 PROGRAM
The Victorian State government has announced that it will be re-opening its SIV program as a result of a limited number of places remaining from its interim allocation from August 2020. Please note that this doesn’t affect any of the other s188 visa streams, which remain closed. Victoria will be accepting nominations from 30th November 2020.
WAIVER FOR OFFSHORE GRANT REQUIREMENT, DUE TO COVID-19
The Department of Home Affairs has just announced that it intends to waive the requirement for certain family visa applicants to be offshore at time of visa grant. The following message appears on the DHA website:
It is intended that changes will be implemented in early 2021 that would allow certain family visas, which have been applied for outside Australia, to be granted while the visa applicant is in Australia. This temporary concession will be for people who are in Australia and are not able to travel offshore to be granted the visa due to COVID-19 related border closures.
The concession will apply to certain applicants for the following Family visa subclasses:
- Child (subclass 101) visa;
- Adoption (subclass 102) visa;
- Dependent Child (subclass 445) visa;
- Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa;
- Partner (subclass 309) visa.
Further information will be available in early 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.