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Conclusion of COVID-19 Concession Period Marks Significant Immigration Changes

The COVID-19 concession period, implemented in response to the pandemic’s impact on international travel and employment conditions, is set to conclude on 25 November 2023. This announcement brings about crucial changes to various visa programs, impacting areas such as employer-sponsored visas, skilled regional visas, family visas, business innovation, and investment program visas, as well as temporary graduate visas.


Employer-Sponsored Visas:

Effective from 25 November 2023, there’s a noteworthy update for Employer Sponsored Visas, including the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), and Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream. Now, individuals holding Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visas must showcase two years of relevant work experience within the previous three years for new nominations.

Skilled Regional Visa subclass 887:

For those eyeing the Skilled Regional Visa subclass 887, the temporary concessions that were available during the COVID-19 period are coming to a close. However, there’s a window of opportunity for employment requirement concessions. This will be accessible exclusively to individuals who held an eligible skilled provisional visa during the concession period and submit a valid application on or before 26 February 2024.

Family Visas:

Changes are in store for Family Visas as COVID-19 concessions, which removed ‘location at the time of visa grant’ restrictions for specific Family program visa applicants, are no longer applicable. Nevertheless, there’s a silver lining for certain Partner and Child visa applicants who applied before 26 November 2023 and were in Australia during the concession period—they can still be granted a visa in Australia after the end of the concession period.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) Visas:

If you are navigating the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP), concessions introduced during the COVID-19 period for the provisional subclass 188 visa under the Business Innovation Extension stream and the permanent subclass 888 visa will be open for application for a limited time—three months after the end of the concession period. Remember, all applications must be submitted before 26 February 2024.

Safe Haven Enterprise Visa:

The conclusion of the COVID-19 concession period will have minimal repercussions on the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa pathway program. The Australian Government has ensured a smooth transition by providing a permanent visa pathway option through the Resolution of Status (subclass 851) (RoS) visa.

Temporary Graduate Visa:

As of 25 November 2023, a change is coming to the Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV) program. All applications for any stream of this program must be lodged in Australia. However, there’s flexibility for subsequent entrant applications, which can be submitted in or outside of Australia.


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