The latest from Australian Immigration news, information, and articles about Immigration to Australia.


  1. 485 Visa rumour has been clarified
  2. Concession for Family related visas
  3. Tasmania nomination changes 2021
  4. Waiver of application fees!
  5. Australia strengthen the character test

The first important news is that 485 Visa rumour has been clarified

MIA has received feedback from the Department of Home Affairs that the same arrangement continues to apply for family members (secondary applicants) of the subclass 485 visa holders. A person who previously held a subclass 485 visa as a secondary visa holder is not excluded from applying for, or being granted, another subclass 485 visa as the primary applicant.

The law regulating the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) has been amended. The change was introduced on 20 January 2021 and there was confusion regarding the interpretation of this new law.
One of the interpretations of the law is that this change will limit the number of people who can apply for the subclass 485 visa. If you have held a subclass 485 visa as a secondary applicant on your partner’s 485 visa, you will not be eligible for a subclass 485 visa as a primary applicant. However DHA has now confirmed that this is an error in drafting the legislation and the previous arrangement continues to apply.
What a relief to thousands of applicants who were so panic when the rumour came up.

The second important news is that Concession for family related visas

Some categories of visas require applicants to be outside of Australia at the time the visa is granted. The Department is aware that COVID-19 travel restrictions are affecting visa applicants, particularly applicants for family visas who have come to Australia.
The Department is taking disruptions arising from the pandemic into account when considering visa applications. Visa applicants are being given additional time to complete the necessary requirements, including any current requirement to be offshore at time of visa grant.
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

Another concession to allow visas to be granted to applicants in Australia would also be 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:

Current processing timeframes for Parent visa applications would not be impacted by these amendments.

The third important news is that Tasmania Nomination Changes 2021

Tasmania has recently made changes to the Subclass 491/190 visa nomination criteria. High calibre subclass 491 category applicants may be considered for subclass 190 nomination. Essentially, the Tasmanian government is considering applicants for a subclass 190 even if the applicant does not meet the criteria for a subclass 190 visa.

High Calibre Applicants

To apply, you must select subclass 491 and subclass 190 on the Skillselect EOI. You are also required to prepare a written submission outlining the reasons for your request.

How to determine if you are a ‘high calibre’ applicant?

The government will consider the following as positive attributes:

  • Employment in highly skilled, specialist positions (normally ANZSCO 1 or 2)
  • Rare/unique skills in high demand
  • Specialist health/allied health skills and employment (in a health-related setting)
  • Recent graduate of a TSOL related occupation, with prior skills/experience and can demonstrate strong employment opportunities.
  • Employment directly related to nominated occupation, with highly reputable, well known company.
  • Employed in skilled area of high demand, having lived in Tasmania for two years or more.
  • Extensive residence in Tasmania (over three years) with solid and ongoing skilled employment

The forth important news is that Waiver of Application Fees!

The government has abolished fees for Subclass 482 TSS Visas, and Subclass 600 Visitor Visas, for visa applicants who meet the criteria.
These concessions will assist people who have been unable to travel to Australia because of the COVID travel restrictions, but who are finacially out of pocket after lodging applications for visas that they have not been able to use.


No Visa Application Charge (VAC) for eligible Subclass 482 Visa applicants
If you,

  • Held a Subclass 482 TSS Visa or a Subclass 457 Visa which expired between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 202, and,
  • Make an application for a Subclass 482 TSS Visa form outside Australia between 27 February 2021 and 31 December 2022

–there will be no Visa Application Charge for them or any secondary applicants for the visa such as a spouse or children.

  • No Visa Application Charge (VAC) for eligible Visitor Visa applicants
  • You will not have to pay an application fee for a Subclass 600 Visited Visa, under the following circumstances:
  • You are outside of Australia the time that you apply for the Visitor Visa,
  • You apply between 27 February 2021 and 31 December 2022, and
  • You were granted a previous Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa while you were outside Australia before 21 March 2020, and
  • That Visa has expired or will expire between 20 March 2020 and 31 December 2021, and the Visa was not used to enter Australia.

The fifth important news is that Australia Strengthens the character test

From the 15 April 2021, the Australian Government will introduce stronger measures surrounding character tests for non-citizens applying for a visa to enter or remain in Australia.
The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke has announced a new Ministerial Direction (MD) 90 – Visa refusal and cancellation under section 501 and revocation of a mandatory cancellation of a visa under section 501CA.
Australia has a sovereign right to determine whether non-citizens who are of concern regarding their character can enter and/or remain in Australia.
The new direction requires crimes or conduct involving family violence to be given primary consideration in decision making.

NewStars has over 15 years’ experience in the immigration industry. NewStars is made up of a team of more than 20 migration agents and immigration lawyers who all share the same passion and knowledge for helping people like you to migrate to Australia.
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