16 Dec 7 important Australian Immigration Updates from November 2020
There were some important immigration updates in November, announced by the Australian Federal Government, that might impact some visa applications and migration plans. We put together in this post the 7 most important ones you can’t miss.
Australian Immigration changes – November 2020
1 – South Australia DAMA Updates
South Australia State government has updated its DAMA occupation list, focusing on the priority sectors that will help recover the Australian economy. Some of these occupations are related to health care, manufacturing, high-tech sectors, agribusiness, and food production.
In addition, Adelaide has also updated its DAMA metropolitan occupation list, focusing on technology, defence, and space sectors.
The State also confirmed that all occupations on their DAMA list now will lead the visa holder on to a permanent visa later.
2 – 485 Graduate Visa offshore applications allowed
Graduate Visa Applicants who have completed their courses and got stuck overseas due to the borders closure will now be able to apply from outside Australia.
The 485 has always been an onshore only visa, where students, after completing certain courses apply for, while they are still in the county. However, due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic, on the 14th of November, the government decided to start accepting applications from graduates who are stuck outside Australia.
Also, the timeframe to apply for this visa has been reviewed and updated from 6 to 12 months for those affected by the travel ban.
3 – New Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa App
Applications for the Electronic Travel Authority are back on track and now visa applicants can apply online through a new app, available for iPhone and Android.
This visa is only available to certain countries, such as the USA, Canada, Singapore, and Korea. It does not mean people who have an ETA approved can travel to Australia: the borders are still closed and ETA holders still have to apply for an exemption to travel while the borders are closed.
4 – Travel Exemptions for New Zealand citizens and transit passengers
Another update from Australian immigration is that now New Zealand citizens can travel to Australia if they have been in New Zealand for at least 14 days, without even having to quarantine.
This also includes people who are not New Zealand or Australian citizens. However, it is important to mention that this will still require a travel exemption – which is very hard to get for temporary visas.
5 – Distinguished Talent Visas Updates
There were two subclasses of Distinguished Talent Visas before:
124 – for people applying from outside Australia
858 – for people applying from Australia
In this case, the update is that the government has combined both subclasses into one and ceased subclass 124. This means that regardless of whether you are in or outside Australia, the application will now be made under Subclass 858 in both cases.
6 – Transitional arrangements for the Subclasses 457 or 482 visa holders
Another Australian immigration update happening in November is related to the Sponsorship Visas. People on the 457 or 482 who have had their working hours reduced, taken unpaid leave, or have been stood down due to the pandemic, will now be able to meet the minimum work time required to apply for the permanent visa.
7 – Partner visa temporary exemption for offshore grant requirement
There was a requirement for certain family visas, such as the Child (subclass 101) visa, Adoption (subclass 102) visa, Dependent Child (subclass 445) visa, Marriage (subclass 300) visa, and the Partner (subclass 309) visa, for applicants to be offshore for their visa to be granted.
Due to the COVID pandemic and the travel restrictions, the government has decided to waive this requirement by early 2021, allowing certain applicants to apply and have their visas granted without leaving Australia.
Every month we bring updates on the latest Australian immigration news to help you keep informed about government decisions, understand the scenario, and be able to think about your next steps towards your migration strategy.