Legislative updates

Visitor visa sc 600 Nil VAC

Migration (Class of persons for Visitor (Class FA) visa nil VAC) Instrument (LIN 21/021) 2021- F2021L00150 the purpose of the instrument is to specify that certain former Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa (Subclass 600 visa) holders can apply for a new Subclass 600 visa with a nil visa application charge (VAC) where their travel to or stay in Australia (or both) has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The instrument specifies that NIL VAC is payable for applicants for a Subclass 600 visa in the Tourist, Sponsored Family, Business Visitor and Approved Destination streams, where those applicants meet all the criteria specified in the instrument. The instrument does not apply to applicants in the Frequent Traveller stream.

As per the instrument an applicant for a Subclass 600 visa will not pay a VAC if all of the following circumstances apply:

  • the applicant is outside of Australia when they apply for the visa (paragraph (a));
  • they apply for the visa between 27 February 2021 and 31 December 2022 (paragraph (b));
  • before 21 March 2021 they were previously granted a Subclass 600 visa while outside of Australia (this excludes visas granted in the Frequent Traveller stream) (paragraph (c));
  • the previous visa they held expired, or will expire between 20 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 (paragraph (d));
  • the previous visa was either a multiple entry visa or a single entry visa that was not used to enter Australia (paragraph (e));
  • if they have made a previous application under the instrument, a visa was not granted or refused to be granted in relation to that application (paragraph (f)).

The instrument repeals Migration (LIN 20/045: Class of persons for Visitor (Class FA) visa applications) Instrument 2020 (F2020L00157).

The instrument commences on 27 February 2021.

Arrangements for Work and Holiday sc 462

Migration (Arrangements for Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) Visa Applications) Instrument (LIN 21/019) 2021- F2020L00157 the purpose of the instrument is to update the list of countries where an applicant is exempt from providing evidence of home government support; the education requirements for applicants from various countries; and the place and manner for making an application for a sc 462 Work and Holiday (Temporary) (Class US) visas.

The instrument under Part 4 (3) for the purposes of Item 1224A(3)(b)(iii) adds the following countries:

– Czech Republic

– Ecuador

– Greece

– Hungary

– Slovak Republic

– Vietnam

If an applicant falls within the class specified by subsection (3), they are not required under subparagraph 1224A(3)(b)(iii) to provide evidence that the applicant has government support for the grant of the visa.

The instrument updates and clarifies the drafting of LIN 19/184 and apart from the above mostly remains the same.

The instrument repeals Migration (LIN 19/184: Arrangements for Work and Holiday Visa Applications) Instrument 2019 (F2019L00918).

The instrument commences 1 March 2021.

NSW Business and Skilled Migration Updates

NSW Business and Skilled Migration have sent out a newsletter with the following updates:

Skilled Migration

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

The process remains the same, with invitations sent periodically to selected candidates.

There are currently 40 occupations available

For more information please refer to their website.

Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491)

Regional Development Australia (RDA) offices have commenced, or will soon commence, accepting and assessing applications for nomination.

A list with the participating RDAs can be found on their website.

There are currently 34 occupations available.

BIIP nominations

You can now apply for NSW nomination online. Despite the new application process the requirements for NSW nomination remain the same.

Here is the key information you should review before applying to NSW:

See main guidelines on their website.

• See their guide to supporting documents on their website for information about what documents are required when you apply for your clients.

• You must be ready to complete the application payment when you apply. You will be emailed a payment link immediately after submitting your application. This payment link is valid for 30 minutes only.

• MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club International or Union Pay are accepted.

• Immediately after you have applied:

  • you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of application.
  • as mentioned above, you will be emailed a payment link immediately after submitting your online application form.
s 48 bar

NSW will not renominate applicants who are subject to a section 48 bar where their nomination has expired, and they are unable to leave Australia.


Immigration SA occupations under review

Immigration SA in a media release have mentioned that some high-demand occupations are currently not displaying on the occupation list. These high-demand occupations and their requirements are in the process of being reviewed, and will be updated to their website soon.

Please click here for the full update.


BSMQ Skilled Migration and BIIP programs closed

Skilled Migration

The BSMQ Skilled Program for sc 491 and sc 190 CLOSED at midnight (AEST) on 24 February 2021.

Skilled EOI’s submitted from 1–7 February 2021 will continue to be assessed on the current criteria.

The Queensland 491-SBO (Small Business Owners) Pathway is still OPEN.

The next skilled opening will be in April 2021.

Business Program

The Business Program CLOSED at midnight (AEST) on 24 February 2021.

Business EOIs submitted up until the closing time will continue to be assessed.

BSMQ will advise in April whether we will open again for the 2020-21 program year.

Please refer to the BSMQ website for more details.


AUSTRADE – BIIP invitations

Following last year’s announcement from The Hon Alan Tudge MP to simplify the BIIP Program, the MIA has sought clarification from Austrade as to whether candidates can still be nominated by them.

Austrade has informed the MIA that they will not be making any nominations for the Premium Investor visa in advance of its closure on 1 July 2021.

Austrade is still nominating for the Significant Investor visa, however they are presently experiencing technical problems which is preventing them from formally making the nomination to the Department of Home Affairs. Therefore, for teh time being they are encouraging prospective applicants to re-direct their applications to state/territory governments.


SC 485 Second Post-Study Work stream

Concessions – Offshore lodgement clarification

In MIA Notice 5 based on the information on the Department’s website it was stated that COVID-19 concessions allow visa applicants for a Second Post Study Work stream to lodge their visa while they are outside Australia.

After further clarification from the Department no concessions have been attached to allow the application for a Second Post Study Work stream to be lodged while outside Australia.

Under Item 1229(3)(f)(ii) and (g) visa applicants for a second Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the Post‑Study Work stream or a member of the family unit of an applicant for a second Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the Post‑Study Work stream must lodge their visa application in Australia.