Schedule 1 - Subclass 476 (Skilled-Recognised Graduate) visas: It provides subclass 476 visa holders and former holders affected by COVID-19 international travel restrictions with an additional 2 years to live, work and study in Australia to assist them to use the visa as intended. The extension applies to all primary subclass 476 visa holders who were outside of Australia at any time between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021, while they held a valid subclass 476 visa. This applies even if the visa has already ceased, or would have ceased before the Amendment Regulations are made, but was not cancelled.
The same extension applies to secondary subclass 476 visa holders. The extension will operate irrespective of whether the person is in Australia or outside Australia at the time Schedule 1 of the Amendment Regulations takes effect.
Schedule 2 - Electronic Travel Authority visas The ETA is a tourist visa (subclass 601), that enables the visa holder to travel to and enter Australia multiple times for a period of 12 months, an application for which is usually made by a travel agent. Schedule 2 clarify the process of making an application for an ETA visa and enables person who holds an ETA-eligible passport that is also an eVisitor eligible passport to apply for an ETA visa electronically using the AustralianETA App. Through this app, the applicants can lodge their ETA visa application using their own portable device, in a fast and convenient manner.
The AustralianETA App has specific travel agent functionality to enable travel agents to download the AustralianETA App to lodge an application on behalf of an applicant.
Schedule 3 - Temporary Skill Shortage visas The amendment allows TSS visa holders (subclass 482) who have worked in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for a third TSS visa in the Short-term stream without having to leave Australia. This includes the TSS Visa holders who:
- were in Australia as the holder of a TSS visa in the short-term stream for a total period of at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021 (COVID-19 related travel restrictions) and
- make that further application before 1 July 2023 unless the Minister specifies a later date.
Also, this concession will help facilitate a pathway to a permanent visa for this cohort, while they remain in Australia, as it will enable them to be holders of, or applicants for, a TSS visa as required for the applicable pathway to permanent residence visa stream. The instrument is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 4 April 2022. Schedule 1 of the instrument commences retrospectively on 31 January 2020, Schedule 2 on 5 April 2022 and Schedule 3 on 1 July 2022.
To access the instrument, click here.