Some categories of visas require applicants to be outside of Australia at the time the visa is granted. The Department acknowledged that COVID-19 travel restrictions are affecting visa applicants, particularly applicants for family visas, who have come to Australia.
Changes are intended to come into effect on 27 February 2021 to allow some Family stream visas, which have been applied for outside Australia, to be granted while the visa applicant is in Australia. This temporary concession would be for certain applicants who are in Australia and are not able to travel offshore to be granted the visa because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The concession would apply to eligible applicants for the following Partner and Child visa subclasses:
- Child (subclass 101) visa
- Adoption (subclass 102) visa
- Dependent Child (subclass 445) visa
- Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa
- Partner (subclass 309) visa
Similar concessions have been extended to eligible Parent visa applicants during the COVID-19 period. This concession is intended to commence on 24 March 2021 and would apply to the following visa subclasses:
- Parent (subclass 103) visa
- Contributory Parent (subclass 173) visa
- Contributory Parent (subclass 143) visa
If you have been advised by the Department that you need to be outside Australia for your parent visa to be granted but you are unable to depart Australia as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions, you will need to request the Department to give you additional time until you can travel safely or until your visa can be granted while you are in Australia. Further detail will be provided when available.
These concessions operate in relation to a “concession period,” within which visas may be granted under these provisions. The concession period commences on 26 February 2021, with no end date specified as at the time of writing. The concession applies to applications made before or during the concession period.