Some categories of visas require applicants to be outside of Australia at the time the visa is granted. The Department of Home Affairs is aware that COVID-19 travel restrictions are affecting visa applicants, particularly applicants for family visas who have come to Australia.
The Department is taking disruptions arising from the pandemic into account when considering visa applications. Visa applicants are being given additional time to complete the necessary requirements, including any current requirement to be offshore at time of visa grant.
Changes are intended to come into effect on 27 February 2021 to allow some Family stream visas, which have been applied for outside Australia, to be granted while the visa applicant is in Australia. This temporary concession would be for certain applicants who are in Australia and are not able to travel offshore to be granted the visa because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The concession would apply to eligible applicants for the following Partner and Child visa subclasses:
- Child (subclass 101) visa
- Adoption (subclass 102) visa
- Dependent Child (subclass 445) visa
- Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa
- Partner (subclass 309) visa
Another concession to allow visas to be granted to applicants in Australia would also be extended to eligible Parent visa applicants during the COVID-19 period. This concession is intended to commence on 24 March 2021 and would apply to the following visa subclasses:
- Parent (subclass 103) visa
- Contributory Parent (subclass 173) visa
- Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visa
Current processing timeframes for Parent visa applications would not be impacted by these amendments.
The Government is continually reviewing arrangements for visas during the pandemic.
Source: Department of Home Affairs