By Alex Petrakos
Many visas have received concessions due to the coronavirus pandemic. A select few family visas will also be benefiting from concessions so that visa applicants in Australia do not need to leave to be granted their visa.
The Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs announced yesterday that COVID-19 concessions will apply to several family visas. These changes will come into effect in early 2021.
Due to mixed responses to the coronavirus pandemic around the world, applicants for Australian visas faced with departing to a country that may be struggling with COVID-19 is a prospect that may fill some with anxiety and dread. For family visas, whose purpose is family reunion with Australian citizens and permanent resident, this situation may also adversely affect sponsors as well. Therefore, and as with some skilled visas, the regulations for certain family visas will be amended because of the challenges COVID-19 has caused.
Most family visas have existed for many years and have changed little since being introduced. Many have both an offshore and onshore subclass and suffer from the same duality as the Distinguished Talent visa, which only recently saw amendments that abolished the offshore (subclass 124) visa.
The regulations for some family visa subclasses require that the application must be lodged offshore and that visa applicants must be outside Australia at the time their visa is granted too, and obviously after meeting all other requirements. Given the issue with COVID-19, international travel, and the need to quarantine, requiring visa applicants to depart for the sake of granting a visa, which will then likely see them return to Australia soon after, now seems excessive.
The proposed changes will allow visa applicants for these offshore visas to have them granted while in Australia. The visas that will be affected are:
Subclass 309 – Partner visa,
Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa,
Subclass 101 – Child visa,
Subclass 102 – Adoption visa, and
Subclass 445 – Dependent Child visa.
It is expected that the regulations will be amended to provide for visa grants during a concession period, already defined and used in several situations, because the media release refers to temporary concessions. This is set to benefit approximately 4000 visa applicants, most of which lodged partner visas.
This leaves a rather large and difficult question to answer: why must these changes be temporary and not permanent since it did not seem difficult to amalgamate the two distinguished talent visas into one?
The post about “COVID-19: Family visas to receive concessions for visa grants in Australia from early 2021" first appeared on the Peak Migration website.
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