Selected Legislation Changes - November 2020

Change Detail Effective from
Validity period of 300 Prospective Marriage visa

Migration Amendment (Prospective Marriage Visas) Regulations 2020:

This instrument amends the Migration Regulations 1994 to address the impact of COVID-19 travel restrictions by extending the duration of Subclass 300 (Prospective Marriage) visas, to 31 March 2022, if the visa holder or former holder was outside Australia on 10 December 2020, and the visa was in effect at any time during the period from 6 October 2020 to 10 December 2020

6 October 2020
Changes in WHV, 124/858, citizenship fees, covid-19 concession (887)

Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (2020 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2020:

Schedule 1 - 417 - The requirement for work to be undertaken in ‘regional Australia’ to qualify for a second or third Subclass 417 visa is replaced by a requirement to undertake ‘specified Subclass 417 work’.

Schedule 2 - 124/858 - updates visa arrangements in the Migration Regulations supporting the Global Talent program, under which offshore and onshore applicants previously applied for different distinguished talent visas. The offshore visa – the Subclass 124 (Distinguished Talent) visa – is repealed. There is now one visa – the Subclass 858 (Distinguished Talent) visa – which can be applied for and granted regardless of the visa applicant’s location. The amendments also streamline criteria for the grant of the Subclass 858 visa.

Schedule 3 – Payment of citizenship fees – makes routine amendments to the Citizenship Regulation to incorporate instruments made under the Migration Regulations and therefore update the places and currencies in which citizenship application fees may be paid, and also update the relevant exchange rates.

Schedule 4 - 887 visa - The amendment allows the visa to be granted to applicants outside Australia if the application was made before 19 September 2020, so that applicants who applied before the concession came into effect, but whose visa application has not been decided, are not disadvantaged.

Schedule 5 - provides for the application of Schedules 1 and 2, and also establishes transitional arrangements to recognise the contribution of working holiday makers in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, by allowing specified work undertaken as the holder of, or an applicant for, certain COVID-19 pandemic event 408 visas, to be counted towards eligibility for a second or third Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa or Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa, provided some or all of that work was critical COVID-19 work in the medical and health care sectors.

14 November 2020 ( citizenship fees 1 January 2021)
Different periods of time for 457/482 holders affected by reduced work period or unpaid leave to apply for 186/187TRT visa

Migration (Transitional operation of regulation 5.19 for certain 457 visa holders) Amendment Instrument (LIN 20/190) 2020:


Amends IMMI 18/052 to determine different periods of time for the purposes of paragraphs 5.19(5)(f) and (g) of the Regulations, for new classes of persons who are specified for the purposes of theses paragraphs. The effect is that the length of the corona virus reduced work period(s) and/or corona virus unpaid leave period(s) can be counted towards the required for the purpose of an application in the temporary residency transition stream.

24 November 2020
Eemption from Age requirements for 186/187 visa affected by a corona virus employment change

Migration (Exemptions from Skill, Age and English Language Requirements for Subclass 186, 187 and 494 Visas) Amendment Instrument (LIN 20/189) 2020:


Amends LIN19/216 to exempt certain applicants of the Subclass 186 and Subclass 187 visas in the Temporary Residence Transition stream from having to satisfy the age requirement at the time of application if they were affected by covid-19 pandemic and are relying on high income threshold exemption.

24 November 2020
Expanding Access to English Tuition - AMEP

Immigration (Education) Amendment (Expanding Access to English Tuition) Bill 2020: 

The purpose is

· remove the 510 hour statutory limit on an eligible person’s entitlement to English tuition, in order to support and incentivise English proficiency; 

· amend the upper limit for eligibility to access English tuition to a new level of vocational English, which will enable eligible persons to continue their language learning to a higher level of English proficiency;

 · remove the statutory time limits for registering for, commencing and completing English tuition for certain people who held a visa and were in Australia on or before 1 October 2020; and

 · allow for the provision of English tuition to certain visa holders or visa applicants outside Australia, to support their English language learning in preparation for their migration to Australia.

Australian Values Statement - update

LIN 20/166: Australian Values Statement for Public Interest Criterion 4019:

The updated values statement further expands on provisions in the approved values statement in IMMI 16/113, particularly for those relating to freedom of religion, commitment to the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, a ‘fair go’ for all and equality of opportunity.

The purpose of the instrument is to update the language of the values statement for all visa subclasses specified to better reflect the values that are important to Australian society. The values statement for all visa subclasses specified includes provisions relating to compliance with the laws of Australia. In addition, the values statement for specified permanent visa subclasses includes an undertaking to make reasonable efforts to learn English, if it is not the applicant’s native language, and a provision relating to matters concerning Australian citizenship.

30 October 2020
Currencies and Exchange Rates for Fees

LIN 21/001: Payment of Visa Application Charges and Fees in Foreign Currencies:

LIN 21/002: Places and Currencies for Paying of Fees:

1 January 2021
Skilled Occupations Lists - update (Health Work Force Certificates)

LIN 20/273: Migration Legislation Amendment (Health Workforce Certificates Measures No. 1) Instrument (LIN 20/273) 2020:

LIN 20/274: Migration Legislation Amendment (Health Workforce Certificates Measures No. 2) Instrument (LIN 20/274) 2020:

- to change the definition of Health Workforce Certificate (HWC).

It needs to be read in conjunction with original legislative instruments:

16 December 2020
Income thresholds for 189NZ

LIN 20/170: Income Threshold and Exemptions for Subclass 189 Visa (New Zealand Stream):

This Instrument updates the income thresholds and exemptions.

11 December 2020
Introduction of 2nd 485 visa (Regional concessions for 485 holders)

Migration Amendment (Temporary Graduate Visas) Regulations 2020:

The purpose of the Regulations is to encourage international students to study in regional Australia on a student visa and to continue living in regional Australia on a temporary graduate visa. This change provides access to a second Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the Post-Study Work stream, valid for one or two years, for applicants who studied for their Australian qualification in regional Australia.

20 January 2021
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Recent News

  • 189NZ Requirements Relaxation - 10 December 2022


    Applicants are not required to satisfy the New Zealand stream specific criteria relating to a period of residence in Australia, minimum taxable income and health. In addition, family members of primary applicants who made a Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa application in the New Zealand stream prior to the commencement of the Amendment Regulations are also not required to satisfy the health criteria. This applies to only already lodged application before 10 December 2022. More info in the legislative update summary


  • 408 AGEE COVID-19 VISA UPDATE - 14 MAY 2021


    The updated legislation dealing with 408 Covid-19 Pandemic Visa came in effect today.

    We have prepared a structured summary of requirements for this visa on our website:

  • Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List - September 2020


    The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) identifies 17 occupations which fill critical skills needs that support Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 based on expert advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with Commonwealth departments. More info here

  • New GSM points test 16 November 2019


    We prepared a new interactive GSM points test that will be in place after 16 November 2019 - check your points score here

  • New skilled occupation lists 11 March 2019


    New occupation lists came in force on 11 March 2019

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Migration Agents Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct for registered migration agents is set out in legislation to regulate the conduct of registered migration agents. 

The Code of Conduct:

(a) protects clients of migration agents; and

(b) strengthens the integrity of the immigration advice industry and Australia’s immigration system.

Provision for a Code of Conduct for migration agents is set out in Section 314 of the Migration Act 1958.

Consumer protection - see MARA Consumer Guide.

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Migration Institute of Australia

Ales Welter (MIA:10623) is a member of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA). MIA members must abide by a Code of Ethics and Practice which is designed to protect members and the reputation of the profession by assisting agents to maintain the highest standards of professionalism.

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