Migration (Ending the COVID-19 Concession Period) (LIN 23/063) Specification 2023 dated23 November 2023 specifies 25 November 2023 as the end date of the COVID-19 Concession period introduced by the former Government on 19 September 2020, which provided various concessions in relation to visas as a response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Regulation 1.15N was inserted in the Regulations on 19 September 2020 to make provision for concession period as part of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic made it difficult for visa applicants to satisfy some of the criteria and requirements for the grant of certain visas, including requirements in relation to where the applicant must be located at the time of visa grant. The COVID-19 Concessions Regulations amended the Migration Regulations to assist such temporary and provisional visa holders, who were affected by the consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic, such as border closures, restrictions imposed on businesses and the general economic downturn to meet visa requirements.
All COVID-19 Pandemic-related international travel restrictions have now been lifted, and travellers to Australia no longer need to provide information in relation to their vaccination status or seek travel exemptions and hence it is appropriate to end the concession period.
Applicants who applied for a visa during the concession period but who have not yet had a visa decision, for them the concessions still apply, and the concession provisions remain in effect for this legacy cohort.
The purpose of Migration (Ending the COVID-19 Concession Period) (LIN 23/063) Specification 2023 is to specify 25 November 2023, as the day on which the COVID-19 Pandemic concession period ceases.
The instrument is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 24 November 2023 and commenced on 25 November 2023. It is currently in force.
To access the instrument, click here.