22 Nov 2020

Distinguished Talent

As part of the Global Talent Independent (GTI) program, Immigration has decided to simplify the Distinguished Talent visa by combining both onshore and offshore categories into one Subclass 858 visa. This amendment means that it’s no longer possible to apply for the Subclass 124 visa.

These changes allow the applicant to apply for the visa from inside or outside of Australia. This change also includes the introduction of a 'health waiver' provision for applicants and family members.

Prospective applicants of this visa whom are in Australia at the time of lodgement will now be able to apply as the holder of a substantive visa or a Bridging Visa A, B, or C.

Visa applications of the subclass 124, lodged before the 14 November 2020 will not affected by these changes.

Working Holiday Visas

As of from 14 November 2020, changes have been made to the definition of 'specified work' for the Subclass 417 visas. This change no longer states that the work must be regional, but it must however be specified work under the 417 program, bringing it in line with the wording of the Subclass 462 visa.
This means that work undertaken in critical COVID pandemic sectors as the holder of:

An eligible Subclass 408 Covid-19 pandemic event visa; or
A Bridging visa that was in effect while they waited for processing of an eligible Subclass 408 visa can now be counted towards 'specified work' for a second or third Subclass 417 or 462 visa. This applies to visa applications made on or after 14 November 2020.

An eligible Subclass 408 visa is defined as a 408 visa applied for:
while the applicant held a 417 or 462 visa; or
within 28 days after the day when the 417 or 462 visa expired; or
while the applicant held an earlier eligible 408 visa; or
within 28 days after an earlier eligible 408 visa held by the applicant expired.
Critical COVID-19 work includes:

medical treatment, nursing, contact tracing, testing and research;
support services such as cleaning of medical and health care facilities and equipment.
Finally, if an applicant for a second or third 417/462 visa holds an eligible 408 visa at the time they apply, the new visa granted would allow a stay for a further 12 months after the day that the eligible 408 visa would have expired.

Subclass 887 Skilled Regional Visas

Changes to the Subclass 887 means the visa can be granted to applicants who are outside of Australia, provided their application was:

Made before 19 September 2020 and has not yet been decided; or
Made on or after 19 September 2020
This amendment is to ensure that Subclass 887 applicants that lodged in Australia and subsequently travelled overseas are not disadvantaged by being unable to return to Australia during the border closures.