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Six Australian Visa Options Amongst COVID-19 Chaos

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There are no shortages of negative news during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Work Visa Lawyers, we aim to take a positive approach. Below are six visa options that you may be eligible to apply for during these uncertain times.  

1. Global Talent Independent Program

The Global Talent Independent Program is a new pathway to gain an invitation for the Distinguished Talent Visa (subclasses 858 and 124).

The Australian Government has announced priority processing for 5,000 positions under the Global Talent Independent Program in the 2019/2020 migration program year. The program year will end on 30 June 2020 so we recommend that eligible applicants lodge their visa applications sooner rather than later.

The program aims to attract highly skilled applicants in the high-growth target sectors below:

  • Agricultural Technology (AgTech)
  • Financial Technology (FinTech
  • Medical Technology (MedTech)
  • Cyber Security
  • Energy and Mining Technology
  • Space and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Quantum Information/Advance Digital/Data Science and ICT

The requirements for those working in the target sectors are:

  • Ability to attract a salary at or above the Fair Work High Income Salary Threshold (this varies each financial year and at time of publication is AUD148,700) or 
  • Recent graduate of PHD or a Masters program with high grades

The benefits of a visa under the Global Talent Independent Program are:

  • Very fast processing – outcomes can be expected in weeks or months
  • Straight to Australian permanent residency visa holder status
  • No expensive Skilling Australians Fund levy
  • No need for a job offer in Australia
  • Access to Medicare

For more information about this program, visit our article here.



2. Skilled Migration for Medical Professionals – subclasses 189, 491 and 190

During the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline medical professionals are more essential than ever. To assist with shortages in medical professionals during this time, many Australian states and territories have eased their criteria for state nomination for medical professionals.

For example, in South Australia, registered nurses no longer need 5 years of work experience for nomination. Priority has also been given for state nomination applications by healthcare workers.

For details of other state sponsorship for medical professionals, visit our article here.


3. Working Holiday Visas – subclasses 417 and 462

Backpackers working in health, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing and childcare will be able to work for one employer for more than 6 months. Those already holding working holiday visas that expire in the next six months and are working in these areas are eligible to apply for a second or third visa to extend their stay.


4.Temporary Activity Visa - subclass 408 – Australian Government Endorsed Event stream

The Australian Government has introduced a new stream for people whose visas have expired or are about to expire.

The purpose of the new visa stream provides a pathway for certain former and current holders of temporary visas to lawfully remain in Australia if they are unable to depart due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The criteria are:

  • onshore and currently hold a visa that will expire in 28 days or less; or
  • onshore and held a visa that has expired for no longer than 28 days; and
  • have no other visa options and are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions; and
  • must be part of response to workforce shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to areas including, but not limited to, agriculture, aged care and public health.


5. Visitor Visa – subclass 600

If your current visa is expiring soon and you are unable to depart Australia, you may apply for a visitor visa to extend your stay in Australia. If you have a ‘No Further Stay’ condition (8503, 8534 and 8535) attached to your current visa, you will need to apply for a waiver to apply for a visitor visa.


6. Partner Visa – subclass 820

If you have an Australian partner, you may want to consider a partner visa application. The length of a de facto relation for migration purposes is 12 months. If you have applied for further visas to stay in Australia due to travel restrictions, this time spent in Australia with your partner will be counted towards your de facto relationship in a future partner visa application.



Do you need help?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your Australian visa or appeal.

Based in Adelaide South Australia, we provide Australian Immigration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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