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COVID-19 Concessions for Employer Sponsored Visas


Written By Michelle O'Sullivan
Sat, Dec 5, 2020
Michelle O'Sullivan

The government has passed legislation that will provide concessions to COVID-19 affected subclass 457/482 visa holders, known as Coronavirus Concession Workers. This new concession is in place as of 24 November 2020.

The laws introduced allow Coronavirus Concession Workers to apply for the subclass 186 visa in the TRT stream despite not working full time during the concession period which aligns with the beginning of the pandemic (1 February 2020).

There are two new definitions in the legislative instrument:

1. Coronavirus reduced work period

  • a period during the concession period, and
  • during the period of 4 years (or 3 years for grandfathered SC 457s) immediately before the application was made, and
  • throughout which the person was employed in the occupation for which the SC 457 or subsequent SC 482 was granted, and
  • throughout which the employment was other than on a full time basis but would have been full time if not for the coronavirus pandemic, or
  • the person was on unpaid leave from that employment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is applicable to those who have been affected by COVID-19 and could not work full time – that is they are working on a part time basis or were stood down.

2. Coronavirus unpaid leave period

  • occurred during the concession period, and
  • during the period of 4 years (or 3 years for grandfathered SC 457s) immediately before the application was made, and
  • throughout which the person was employed in the occupation for which the SC 457 or subsequent SC 482 was granted, and
  • was on unpaid leave from that employment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is applicable to applications made on or after 1 February 2020 and before 24 November 2020 and not yet decided or applications made on or after 24 November 2020.

Higher Income Threshold and Age Exemptions

If the age exemption applies to you on the basis that you are earning at the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently $153,600) to meet the 186 visa requirements, you may continue to be eligible for the age exemption even if your earnings have dropped due to COVID-19. The Department may apply the pro-rata income threshold.

This is applicable to all applications made on or after 1 February 2020.

If you or someone you know would like assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at hello@tssgroup.com.au

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