Latest COVID-19 concessions for Australian visas

Since the COVID-19 crisis the government has announced changes to policy and concessions for some visas. Among those are working hours for some student visa holders employed in critical sectors and 457 and 482 Temporary Visa Holders in Australia who are stood down and not laid off by their employer, access to superannuation for temporary visa holders, introduction of new COVID-19 stream – subclass 408 Temporary Activity Visa and waiver of some conditions imposed on certain visas. Here is a list of the latest of the latest updates.


Sponsored Temporary Parent visa – permission to lodge onshore

Applicants for SC 870 Sponsored Temporary Parent sponsorship are now able lodge their visas while onshore.

The 870 temporary visa lets a parent of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen visit Australia for up to 3 or 5 years. There is no balance of family test for this visa.

The visa allows parents to stay in Australia temporarily for a period of up to five years at a time. Normally, a parent must be outside Australia for at least 90 days before being eligible to apply for a further Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa.

One of the criteria for submitting a 870 visa is to be outside Australia. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and travel restrictions, for parents who would like to extend their stay in Australia (for up to 5 years) they may be able to submit their 870 visa without leaving Australia subject to the Parent Processing Centre approval, which has been lenient with these waiver requests during COVID-19 period.

To be granted permission the parent cannot currently hold an onshore visa with a condition 8503 or 8543. The condition must be waived before applying.

COVID-19 and visitor visas- Condition 8558

Condition 8558 (must not stay in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period)

If you hold a Visitor visa with condition 8558 you should depart Australia before the date on which you will have stayed in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period.

If you are unable to depart Australia before this time for reasons beyond your control however, the Department do not expect you to apply for a further visa unless you are unable to depart before your visa expiry date.

The ‘No Further Stay’ 8503 waiver request will therefore be prioritised according to the visa expiry date, and not the date on which you will have stayed in Australia for more than 12 months in any 18 month period.

Employer Sponsored visas

Immigration Matter COVID-19 Concessions  Further information
482 TSS visa Ok if stood down and as before if laid off (60 days to find another employer)
186 visa should a stood down 4-year TSS visa holder be re-employed after the coronavirus pandemic, their time already spent in Australia will count towards their permanent residency skilled work experience requirements

S48 bar, 8503 and 8543 condition

Immigration Matter COVID-19 Concessions  Further information
S48 bar Cannot be waived
8503 condition (No Further Stay Condition) Department being lenient with waivers
8543 condition (No Further Stay” condition placed on student visas) Department being lenient with waivers

Student visas

Immigration Matter COVID-19 Concessions  Further information
Student visa holders offshore Travel restrictions in place. We will update once we have a reopening date for International Students.
Student visa holder onshore Flexible if not attended classes, extra hours for students working in certain industries. Access to superannuation.

408 visa

408 visa New COVID-19 stream

Nil visa application fee and work rights are available in some circumstances

Working Holiday Visas

Working Holiday Makers (WHM) in Australia Working holiday makers who are working in some critical sectors will be exempt from the six month work limitation with the one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working in these critical sectors if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.
Working Holiday Visas who have not activated their visa As before, must arrive within 12 months of grant and have 12 months validity from the time you arrive in Australia.


Leaving and Entering Australia

Australians wanting to depart As an Australian you cannot leave Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions unless you have an exemption. You can apply for an exemption online
Non Australians leaving Australia international visitors are encouraged to return home when possible to do so.
Entering Australia Exemptions by commissioner for temporary visa holders with compelling and compassionate grounds

Direct family members of Australians can apply to enter AU

Australians and NZ citizens usually resident can enter

All arrivals have a 14 day isolation

Australians: Australian Citizens and Permanent residents


If you would like a comprehensive consultation which includes assessing you for other temporary and permanent visa options (Skilled visas, Employer Sponsored, Partner, etc.) as well, we recommend our standard 45 minute to 1 hour consultation which can be scheduled here: (45 min- $160)

Recent News

Ending ‘visa hopping’ – 600 and 485 visas to student

35 Years or Under Age Limit for 485 Visa (50 for Masters by research and PhD)

Core Skills Occupations List (CSOL)

Bridging Visa R

Genuine Student (GS)