Australian Immigration

Changes to Australian Immigration Law from 1st January 2021

Published on : December 15, 2020


Key Highlights:

  • Overview
  • Visas Can be Cancelled on Biosecurity Grounds
  • Concession for Family Visa Applicants
  • Labour Market Testing Requirements
  • Upfront Sponsorship Approval Required
  • More Changes to Come

The Australian immigration law is rapidly changing in response to emerging issues like the Covid-19 pandemic.

Visas Can be Cancelled on Biosecurity Grounds

Temporary visa holders will now face the risk of visa cancellation when found to breach sections of the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth). 

Biosecurity contraventions include:

  • Failure to answer questions by the biosecurity officer
  • Knowingly providing false or misleading information

As a result of this legislative change, cancellation of the visa can happen during immigration clearance. 

The Department of Home Affairs on biosecurity grounds has the power to cancel temporary visas mentioned below.

Visa cancellation brings very serious consequences. Visa holders can face a three-year ban from applying for temporary visas.

Concession for Family Visa Applicants

This is certain family visa applicants who are stuck in Australia due to the pandemic. 

Such applicants who were normally required to be outside Australia to apply for the visa will now be allowed to have their visas while they are within the country.

Offshore visa grants with respect to the following visa subclasses have been waived.

  • Child Visa (Subclass 101)
  • Adoption Visa (Subclass 102)
  • Dependent Child Visa (Subclass 445)
  • Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)
  • Partner Visa (Subclass 309)

Concessions are likely to start in early 2021.

Labour Market Testing Requirements

The Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) Visa and the Provisional (Subclass 494) Visa is amended to include additional labour market testing requirements. Employers now will have to advertise vacancies on the government website. 

Upfront Sponsorship Approval Required

The family sponsorship framework will now extend to the Sponsored Parent (Subclass 870) Visa and the Partner Visa as well. 

Permanent resident sponsors or Australian citizens for a Partner Visa will now be assessed against sponsorship obligations. They will require sponsorship approval before filing the visa application.

More Changes to Come

There are more changes afoot and are likely to take place as 2021 rolls on. One on the cards is changes in the visa application fee structure.

Topics: Migrate

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