Lombard and Laurence Newsletter — November Migration Updates

Visas for Hong Kong Passport Holders

The Department of Home Affairs has recently announced a range of concessions for Hong Kong passport holders as part of a new safe haven scheme in response to China’s national security legislation.

From March 2022, Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders will have access to new pathways to permanent residency.

The Hong Kong (Regional) (subclass 191) visa will allow applicants living, working or studying in regional areas to apply for permanent residency. Applicants must have been usually resident in Australia for three years before applying. The Subclass 189 visa now also have a Hong Kong Stream for visa holders who were usually resident in Australia for four years before applying.

We do note that in order to apply for either visa subclass, applicants must be the primary visa holder of a subclass 457, 482 or 485 visa granted on or after 9 July 2020.

More information...

Proof of vaccination for temporary residents

Unfortunately, the MyGov vaccination certificate has so far only been available to people with access to Medicare. Temporary residents without Medicare will need to apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier through MyGov.

For more information on how to do so, please visit the Services Australia link below:

Service Australia...

Availability of Electronic Transit Authority (ETA) visas

It has come to our attention that the Department has been granting applications for Electronic Transit Authority visas to travel to Australia. We note that this visa is only granted for three months and does not have work rights. The stay period for this visa cannot be extended until after arrival.

This visa is available to passport-holders from:

  • Brunei;
  • Canada;
  • Hong Kong (SAR of China);
  • Japan;
  • Malaysia;
  • Singapore;
  • South Korea; and
  • The United States of America.

Applications are only being accepted through the Department’s AustralianETA app, available on the App Store or the Google Play Store. The application fee for this visa is AUD20.

For more information, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website at the link below.

Department of Home Affairs Website...

Travel Exemptions for Singaporean Citizens

From 21 November 2021, Singaporean citizens will be able to travel to Australia without needing a travel exemption and quarantine-free if arriving in NSW, Victoria or the Australian Capital Territory.  Please note that other states and territories may require travellers to quarantine for 14 days.

Eligible travellers must:

  • Provide evidence of full vaccination with an approved vaccine;
  • Hold a valid Australian visa;
  • Present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of departure.

Travellers will need to complete an Australian Travel Declaration 72 hours before departure.

For further information, please visit the link below.

Department of Home Affairs Website...

Changes to Partner Visa Program

We previously announced that the changes to the Partner visa program were likely to be introduced on 13 November.

The Department of Home Affairs has now announced that the changes will not be introduced on that date. The changes have not yet been implemented and while the Department has said that it should come into effect this month, the exact date is uncertain.

Please note that the above information is only general information and is not legal advice and should not be relied upon. Please contact our office for immigration advice specific to your situation.