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Extension, Waivers, and Refunds in COVID-19 times

The visa holders having affected by the travel restrictions due to COVID-19 will get a refund for their paid VAC (Visa Application Charge). This will make eligibility for the working holidaymakers, tourists, prospective business partners, temporary skilled workers and pacific workers having been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prospective marriage visa holders who were unable to enter Australia before the visa ceasing will get the VAC refund or an extended visa validity period that will tend to save about $8000 for the people in this category.

Temporary skilled work visa will get a waiver for the VAC visa for the people who weren’t able to travel or had departed but couldn’t return before the visa ceased due to the travel bans.

Working Holiday Makers will receive the VAC waiver if they were unable to travel to Australia or departed early and were not able to apply for a new Holiday Waiver (with passed relevant age limit).

Visitor holders will get a waiver of VAC for visitor visa applicants with the previous visa ceased or couldn’t travel to Australia due to the travel restrictions. There were people who were not able to travel to Australia for the initial entry or the people who had travelled and departed but couldn’t return on a multiple-entry visa as long as they apply for the new visa before the end of 2022.

Minimum Points Score, but Minimal Invitations

There were only 110 invitations announced in the Australian Government’s budget on October 21. There were about 30 invites issued to Subclass 189 skilled independent workers out of which 80 invites were sent to Subclass 491 regional (family sponsored) applicants. The minimum points score was only 65 for both visa options and there were 189 visa options floated from September 2020.

110 invitations were given to:

79 registered nurses, 13 internal medicine specialists, 14 medical practitioners, 2 psychologists, 1 medical laboratory scientist, and one unaccounted-for-invitation through historical information sent to healthcare-related occupation.

Immigration Amendments November 2020

In the first week of November, the Department of Home Affairs introduced the amendments to permanent skilled regional visas, working holiday, and distinguished talent. From 14 November 2020, there are changes, there are specified work for Subclass 417 visas under the working program. The critical COVID-19 category includes nursing, medical treatment, research, testing, contact tracing, cleaning of medical and healthcare facilities and equipment. If an applicant holds an eligible 408 visa at the time of application, the new visa is granted that allows a stay for 12 months. After that day the eligible 408 visa would have expired.

Distinguished talent: With Global Talent Independent (GTI) program, Immigration process is simplified by combining the onshore and offshore categories into Subclass 858 visa.

The changes allow the visa to be applied and granted regardless of the location of the applicant or introduction of health waiver provision for applicants and the related family members.

Regional Labour Agreements

The international borders are closed now and there are reduced number of working holiday makers in Australia. There is a growth of goods for Australia and the farmers are looking for sourcing the skilled workers. This is one of the business options for sponsored overseas workers that can work through the Labour Agreement. The labour agreement request can be assessed by the Department of Home Affairs.  

Businesses can lodge a request for Labour agreement request that can be assessed by the Department of Home Affairs. On approval, these can make the approved businesses for sponsoring workers for the occupations that is not available through the general temporary or permanent visa programs. The labour agreements are different, such as farming, agriculture, dairy, pork, horticulture labour agreements, etc. The SESR visa (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa) that can lead to the permanent residency.

For Dairy Farm Workers, the Dairy Labour Agreement is important for business nomination. The applicants require AQF Certificate III (or equivalent degree) with a minimum of three years of relevant work experience without any salary concessions.

Pork Labour Agreement allows the businesses for nominating the senior stockpersons. The requirements are the same as the dairy farm workers without any concessions for English or salary. Similarly, horticulture labour agreement, requires at least Cert II or III with the relevant experience. The assessment in this case is done by VETASSESS.


Expert advise is mandatory in labour agreement cases as it includes a number of steps to follow before proceeding for immigration. There are labour agreements made for a vast number of industries before proceeding for any immigration.

Changes to Australian Global Talent Visa in the Global Talent Independent Program

The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) has made a few changes to the subclass 858 visa (Distinguished Talent Visa). This is a permanent visa for the people who have obtained an outstanding achievement in the list of the eligible fields. The following changes are being made:

  • Increased number of visa classes through which the applicant can lodge an application
  • Removal of subclass 124 visa allowing the applicants to apply for offshore visa case
  • Change in the health criteria for allowing the applicants with specific health conditions to be granted the visa.


It is not easy to obtain Australian PR as the process to obtain visa is a bit complicated. Trenity Consultants are the best visa consultants in UAE for getting Australian visas for work permit or permanent settlement. They have experienced staff with the wholesome knowledge for applying for Australian visas. You can consult them for your visa requirements to get the most suitable responses and a positive move towards your decision to shift to Australia. It is always good to apply your efforts in the right direction to make the appropriate decision.

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