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Nill Fee for certain TSS (SC482) Visa Applications, Refunds for Certain Visa Applicants

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The Department of Home Affairs has announced a number of significant changes in response to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Australian migration program.

Nil Visa Application Charge for Some TSS (subclass 482) Visa Applicants

Certain former TSS (subclass 482) or SC457 visa holders may be eligible to have a Nil Visa Application Charge where their travel to, or stay in, Australia has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new industrial instrument has been released that specifies that former holders of a TSS (subclass 482) visa, or Subclass 457 visa, are eligible to apply for a TSS (subclass 482) visa with a nil visa application charge if they meet all of the following circumstances:

If a primary applicant applies for a TSS (subclass 482) visa whilst they are outside of Australia, between the 27 February 2021 and 31 December 2022, and if they formally held a TSS (subclass 482) visa or Subclass 457 visa that ceased to be in effect between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2021.

Note: dependant applicants (such as partners and children) including in the application for someone that meets the above criteria will also have the nil visa application charge.

These changes commenced on the 27 February 2021.

Refund of Visa Application Charges for  Certain Prospective Marriage (SC300), Pacific Labour Scheme (SC403 – PLS), Season Worker Program (SC403 – SWP), Working Holiday Visa (SC417) and Work and Holiday visa (SC462) Visas

Prospective Marriage visa (SC300)

VAC may be refunded if one of three following circumstances apply:

  • The visa ceased to be in effect between 20 March 2020 and 5 October 2020 while the visa holder was outside Australia and a refund is requested on or before 31 December 2022.
  • The visa ceased to be in effect between 20 March 2020 and 5 October 2020 while the visa holder was in Australia, but the visa holder was unable to marry their sponsor before the visa ceased because of restrictions imposed by COVID-19 pandemic, such as quarantine requirements or restrictions on interstate travel, and the visa holder made a request for a refund on or before 31 December 2022.
  • The visa was in effect between 6 October 2020 and 10 December 2020, the visa holder was outside Australia on 10 December 2020 and did not enter after that date on that visa, and the visa holder requested a refund on or before 31 December 2022. This circumstance only applies when, at the time the visa holder requests the refund, the visa had either ceased to be in effect or, if the visa had not ceased to be in effect at the time of a request to refund, the visa holder had already asked the Minister to cancel the visa before the application for refund.

Pacific Labour Scheme (SC403 – PLS)

VAC may be refunded if ALL of the following circumstances apply:

  • the PLS visa was granted before 20 March 2020, but the person was not able to enter Australia on or before the date specified by the Minister on the visa;
  • a refund is requested on or before 31 December 2021 and, at the time of decision on the request for a refund, the visa was no longer in effect; and
  • if the visa ceased to be in effect because it was cancelled—the cancellation only occurred because the visa holder requested the Minister to cancel the visa in accordance with paragraph 2.43(1)(g) of the Migration Regulations.

Seasonal Worker Program (SC403 – SWP)

VAC may be refunded if ALL of the following circumstances apply:

  • the SWP visa was granted before 20 March 2020 but the person was not able to enter Australia on or before the date specified by the Minister on the visa;
  • a refund is requested on or before 31 December 2021 and, at the time of decision on the request for a refund, the visa was no longer in effect; and
  • if the visa ceased to be in effect because it was cancelled—the cancellation only occurred because the visa holder requested the Minister to cancel the visa in accordance with paragraph 2.43(1)(g) of the Migration Regulations.

Working Holiday visa (SC417)

VAC may be refunded if ALL of the following circumstances apply:

  • the visa was granted before 20 March 2020 and either the person did not enter Australia under the visa, or they departed Australia between 20 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 and did not re-enter Australia on that visa;
  • the SC417 visa ceased to be in effect between 20 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 while the person was outside of Australia;
  • if the visa ceased to be in effect because it was cancelled—the cancellation only occurred because the relevant person requested the Minister to cancel the visa in accordance with paragraph 2.43(1)(g) of the Migration Regulations. If the Subclass 417 visa was cancelled on any other grounds, the circumstance will not apply and a refund of visa application charge will not be available;
  • the person has not applied for another Subclass 417 visa;
  • the person is unable to be granted another Subclass 417 visa because they do not satisfy the age requirements specified in paragraph 417.211(2)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations; and
  • the refund is requested on or before 31 December 2022.

Work and Holiday visa (SC462)

VAC may be refunded if ALL of the following circumstances apply:

  • the visa was granted before 20 March 2020 and either the person did not enter Australia under the visa, or they departed Australia between 20 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 and did not re-enter Australia on that visa;
  • the visa ceased to be in effect between 30 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 while the relevant person was outside of Australia;
  • if the visa ceased to be in effect because it was cancelled—the cancellation only occurred because the relevant person requested the Minister to cancel the visa in accordance with paragraph 2.43(1)(g) of the Migration Regulations. If the Subclass 462 visa was cancelled on any other grounds, the circumstances will not apply and a refund of visa application charge will not be available;
  • the person has not applied for another Subclass 462 visa; and
  • the person is unable to be granted another Subclass 462 visa because they do not satisfy the age requirements specified in clause 462.212 of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations; and
  • the refund is requested on or before 31 December 2022.
More information?
 

If further information or clarification is required regarding your eligibility for a refund, or applying for a TSS (SC482) with a nil Visa Application Charge please contact our office.

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