COVID-19 MARCH 2021 UPDATE: Skilled Migration Visas and First Entry to Australia
Skilled Migration Visas March 2021 Update and First Entry to Australia
After the COVID-19 crisis, the Australian government has declared regulatory reforms and visa concessions for some visa programs. Recently, the department has announced an update for the Skilled Migration Visa Holders.
According to the current update, the Department of Home Affairs will not cancel a Skilled visa if offshore Skilled visa holders who are subject to condition 8504 (must enter by stated deadline) are unable to enter by that date. If you have been granted one of the Skilled Migration visas, this new update is for you!
Skilled Migrants First Entry to Australia
If you were offshore and you have been granted one of the Skilled visas listed below, then your visa grant is subject to visa Condition 8504.
- Skilled Independent (subclass 189);
- Skilled Nominated (subclass 190);
- Skilled Regional (subclass 489);
- Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491).
Visa Condition 8504 provides that:
The holder must enter Australia as the holder of the visa to which the condition applies before a date specified by the Minister.
The condition above requires each visa holder to enter Australia for their first entry before the date stated in your visa Grant Notification Letter.
Skilled Migration Visa Holders Traveling to Australia
Information on first entry to Australia notice and your grant notification letter should be sufficient evidence for a travel provider to be confident that you are qualified to access Australia as a skilled visa holder. You may want to bring a copy of the notice with you to present to the airline while checking in at the airport and upon arrival in Australia.
Processing priorities for Skilled Migration Visas
Certain Skilled visa applications are processed in accordance with Migration Program planning levels. Priority processing arrangements, established by the Minister, specify the order in which the applications are processed.
Priority processing arrangements have been structured to support other recent reforms to professional migration in order to ensure that the economy receives the expertise it requires right away.
The following points-tested skilled migration visas are subject to processing priority arrangements:
- Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) (Points-tested stream);
- Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated);
- Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional));
- Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)).
For the above listed visa subclasses, the current processing priorities (with the highest priority listed first) are:
- Visa applications for any points tested subclass where the Department has determined that the applicant has an occupation within a Critical Sector;
- Subclass 491 (non-Critical Sector) – applicants are in Australia;
- Subclass 491 (non-Critical Sector) – applicants are offshore;
- Subclass 489 (non-Critical Sector);
- Subclass 190 (non-Critical Sector);
- Subclass 189 – Points tested stream only (non-Critical Sector).
Applicants should be mindful that applications that do not fall under a Critical Sector can take longer to process than the average. This is due to the fact that each visa subclass includes applications of different processing priorities.
Contact us to find out more about your eligibility here.
What Does This Mean For Skilled Migrants?
This new update means you can arrive in Australia after the initial entry date, as long as it is before the “Must not arrive after” date. You do not need to be granted an extension to your initial entry date or visa.
Ready to enter Australia? Get your Australian visa now!
We understand that applying for a skilled migration visa to Australia is certainly very complex and even more complex due to the Australian travel ban.
Our visa specialists at ONE derland Consulting will help you assess your visa options.
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