Australian Immigration Law Changes Likely To Influence Visa Applications From January 1, 2021

2020 was an eye-opener to make everyone realize that immigration law can be amended with immediate effect due to the pandemic issues like COVID 19. Since we are a few days away from New Year, a few other changes are likely to be witnessed in 2021. Here’s a brief preview of these changes.

As a result of the legislative change, the Department of Home Affairs will have the power to cancel following temporary visas on biosecurity grounds:

#1Visas might be cancelled due to biosecurity reasons

Visa holders are likely to come across visa cancellation from January 1, 2021 on breaching sections specified under Biosecurity Act, 2015. From being unable to answer the questions posed by the biosecurity officer to providing misleading or incorrect information, these interventions in the visa processing have been clearly identified as reasons to hold back immigration clearance.

Besides, the recent legislative change maintains that the Department of Home Affairs reserves the right to cancel the temporary visas mentioned below due to biosecurity contraventions:

  1. Subclass 408 (Temporary Activity) visa;
  2. Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa;
  3. Subclass 407 (Training) visa;
  4. Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa;
  5. Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa;
  6. Subclass 407 (Training) visa;
  7. Subclass 476 (Skilled—Recognised Graduate) visa;
  8. Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa;
  9. Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa;
  10. Subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa;
  11. Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa;
  12. Subclass 651 (eVisitor) visa;
  13. Subclass 676 (Tourist) visa;
  14. Subclass 500 (Student) visa;
  15. Subclass 771 (Transit) visa;
  16. Subclass 601 (Electronic Travel Authority) visa;
  17. Subclass 988 (Maritime Crew) visa

It is important for visa holders to understand that visa cancellation leads to grave consequences, particularly, a three-year ban forbidding them to apply for temporary visa.

#2 Due to border closure, some visa applicants not able to depart Australia may be granted COVID concession.

It has been clearly stated by the Department of Home Affairs that family visa applicants stuck in Australia as an effect of border closure may be granted COVID concession.

Most of the times, these applicants have their visas granted if they are at offshore. But, the affected people will now be able to avail border closure concession for visa application.

The Department further mentioned about waiving the offshore visa application considering the following visa subclasses:

  • Child (subclass 101) visa
  • Dependent Child (subclass 445) visa
  • Adoption (subclass 102) visa
  • Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa
  • Partner (subclass 309) visa

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the concession may be applicable from early 2021. The consequent information will be ruled out after some time.

#3 Seeking approval for Upfront sponsorship will be mandatory for before obtaining partner visa application

The Australian Government indicated legislation for the creation of a new family sponsorship framework in 2018. As a part of this amendment, upfront formal sponsorship approval should be applied before a prospective before obtaining the relevant visa.

The framework will now be applicable on the subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. In fact, the Government has stated that the family sponsorship framework is subject to extension of the partner visas.

Subsequently, permanent resident Sponsors or Australian citizens seeking a partner visa will be evaluated against sponsorship obligations as well as character. After this process, they will require sponsorship approval prior to getting a visa application granted.

These changes are lined up in the next year and may differ in terms of fee or other regulations. But, the idea is to be informed about the upcoming changes in immigration laws.

This update is just to inform the readers about the changes, expert Australia immigration advice and accurate details must be sought for better understanding of laws & amendments.