In a major development, the Migration Regulations 1994 have been amended to allow those who have been refused or cancelled a visa onshore and who are therefore affected by s48 of the Migration Act 1958 to lodge an onshore application for one of these visas:
- Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated (Permanent);
- Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional), and
- Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)
Such applications can be made after 13 November 2021.
Before this amendment, visa applicants who were affected by s48 were barred from lodging most visa applications onshore, meaning that they had to leave Australia and make an offshore application. With this change, Regulation 2.12 (the regulation that prescribes what type of visas s48 affected applicants can apply for in Australia) has been amended to include the sc491, sc494 and sc190 visas. According to the explanatory memorandum, the legislation has been amended in recognition of the many applicants “who are prevented from leaving Australia due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions but meet all other requirements for making an application for the visa.”
Please note that all other validity criteria for the sc491, sc494 and sc190 visas need to be met, that is, an applicant will still have to hold a Bridging visa A, B or C in order to lodge a valid application, and where relevant, will need to be invited to apply for the visa.
The full text of the legislation can be accessed here.
If you think this change will have an impact on your options, please contact us.