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Concessions announced for 186 Temporary Resident Transition stream visa applicants impacted by COVID19

The government has finally announced confirmation with regard to 457/482 visa holders in Australia who have been impacted by a COVID employment change and their eligibility to meet the temporary resident transition stream requirements.

The government has confirmed that they will provide certain concessions for specified workers whose work hours were reduced or those who were required to take unpaid leave due to the COVID pandemic. Thus, the period of time required to be employed in the occupation and the position for TRT stream visas will not be disadvantaged if working hours were impacted or unpaid leave was taken during the concession period. This is known as a Coronavirus employment change.

Coronavirus employment change is where the visa holder was:

  • required to work at a reduced salary, or
  • required to work reduced hours, or
  • required to work part time, or
  • unable to work full time; or
  • stood down.

This amendment applies to applications:

  • made on or after 1 February 2020 and before 24 November 2020 and not yet finalised, or
  • applications made on or after 24 November 2020.

The welcomed announcement brings relief to those 457/482 visa holders who have been eagerly waiting for the government’s confirmation of the above.

High Income Threshold age exemptions for those impacted by COVID19

The government has announced that an exemption will be granted to certain 186/187 applicants under the Temporary Resident Transition stream from having to satisfy the age requirement.

Those 457 and 482 visa holders who were previously exempt from age requirements on the basis of earning at the Fair Work High Income Threshold will continue to be eligible for a 186 visa, despite their earnings being affected by a coronavirus employment change. A pro-rata income threshold for the period when their earnings were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may be applied where required.

This is also welcomed news for those over the age threshold who are eligible for a 186TRT visa based on the FWHIT but have had their salaries impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The concession period commenced on 1 February 2020.

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