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Covid Visa Concessions

From 19 September 2020, a number of concessions will be available for certain visa holders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 concessions are to help you continue on your visa pathway if you have been disadvantaged by COVID-19 border closures, business restrictions or the economic downturn.

If you hold, or held, a temporary or provisional visa listed below during the COVID-19 concession period you may be eligible for a COVID-19 concession.

The COVID-19 concession period commences from 1 February 2020 and is an interim arrangement.

Check back here for updates about when the concession period will end.

See details on COVID-19 concessions available for:

Skilled Regional (Subclass 887) visa

Applicants outside Australia

Eligible prospective subclass 887 visa applicants can make their visa application outside Australia during the concession period and be granted the visa while they are outside Australia. Applicants outside of Australia who lodge during the concession period are given access to shorter employment requirements and shorter residence requirements.

These applicants must provide evidence of at least:

  • 9 months full-time work in a specified regional area (or, if the Minister specifies a shorter period in a legislative instrument, that shorter period), and

  • 18 months residence in a specified regional area (or, if the Minister specifies a shorter period in a legislative instrument, that shorter period).

Applicants inside Australia

Eligible prospective subclass 887 visa applicants in Australia who lodge during the concession period or no later than three months after the end of the concession period, are required to provide evidence of at least:

  • 9 months full-time work in a specified regional area, and

  • 2 years of residence in a specified regional area.

Eligibility for the shorter employment and residence periods for subclass 887 visa applicants entitled to the COVID-19 concessions:

Location Employment       concession (9 months)          Residence concession (18 months)

Onshore lodgement                        Yes                                          No

Offshore lodgement.                      Yes                                          Yes

Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)(Subclass 888) visa

Arrangements are in place for provisional visa holders who may have been disadvantaged as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

You must have been in Australia for a least 1 year in the 2 years immediately before you apply.
During the ‘COVID-19 concession period’, time spent overseas will count as time being in Australia if you were the holder of one of the following visas:

Your first visa in the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream must have been granted on or before 30 June 2019.

Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Graduates impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions are now able to apply for and be granted a Temporary Graduate visa outside Australia – they must hold or have held a Student visa in the past 12 months to apply.

Concession for certain family visa applicants affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions

Some categories of visa require applicants to be outside of Australia at the time the visa is granted. The Department is aware that the travel restrictions and limitations associated with COVID-19 are affecting visa applicants, particularly applicants for family visas who have come to Australia. 

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.


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