Migration Amendment (Subclass 417 and 462 Visas) Regulations 2022, dated 03 March 2022, amends the Migration Regulations 1994 to provide concessions for certain Working Holiday Makers in Australia affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to exempt holders of certain passports from meeting ‘specified work’ requirements when they apply for a second or third WHM visa and to ensure procedural fairness before excluding an employer from the WHM program’s ‘specified work’ arrangements.
The instrument defines the onshore COVID-19 affected visa’ to give effect to the concessions for WHM visa applicants who apply in Australia for a WHM visa between 5 March 2022 and 31 December 2022, and who were in Australia on 20 March 2020 as the holder or former holder of a WHM visa. It also provides that if a person holding an onshore COVID-19 affected visa, applies on or before 31 December 2022 for another WHM visa, then the onshore COVID-19 affected visa will be treated as if it never existed, for the purpose of WHM visa criteria. In addition, the instrument allows eligible WHM visa applicants in Australia to lodge a valid WHM visa application without holding a valid passport if they apply before 31 December 2022, to allow those who have been unable to renew passports due to the pandemic. But, for the grant of a visa, a valid passport is required.
The Instrument also grants the power to Minister to exempt holders of certain passports from meeting ‘specified work’ requirements needed to apply for a second or third WHM visa.
Also, the instrument aims at providing procedural fairness before excluding an employer from the WHM program’s ‘specified work’ arrangements. The Minister must inform the employer about his intention to specify the employer as an excluded employer’ and must state the reasons for it and provide at least 28 days to the employer to respond by making a written submission to the Minister.
The instrument is registered on the Federal Register of Legislations on 04 March 2022 and commenced on 05 March 2022. It is currently in force.
To access the instrument, click here.