COVID-19 Concessions for Skilled Regional 887 visa

The new COVID-19 Concessions for Subclass 887 are to ensure applicants are not disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control, including border closures, restrictions imposed on businesses and the general economic downturn related to COVID-19.

The new concessions are in relation to application requirements, and visa criteria requiring specified periods of residence and full-time work in regional Australia. The Subclass 887 visa is a permanent visa and the amendments assist holders of qualifying provisional visas or related bridging visas, who are on a pathway to the permanent visa.

The Subclass 887 (Skilled – Regional) visa is a permanent visa. These amendments allow flexibility in meeting visa eligibility requirements for prospective Subclass 887 visa applicants and their families who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The COVID-19 concessions are:

From 19 September 2020, COVID concessions to lodgement and eligibility requirements will be available to eligible prospective Skilled – Regional visa (subclass 887) applicants where they meet criteria set out below.

Eligible applicants make their visa application outside Australia and be granted the visa while outside Australia during the COVID concession period, commencing 1 February 2020.

Applicants outside of Australia

Eligible prospective subclass 887 visa applicants can make their visa application outside Australia during the concession period and be granted the visa while they are outside Australia. Applicants outside of Australia who lodge during the concession period are given access to shorter employment requirements and shorter residence requirements.

These applicants must provide evidence of at least:

  • 9 months full-time work in a specified regional area (or, if the Minister specifies a shorter period in a legislative instrument, that shorter period), and
  • 18 months residence in a specified regional area (or, if the Minister specifies a shorter period in a legislative instrument, that shorter period).

Applicants inside Australia

Eligible prospective subclass 887 applicants inside Australia who lodge during the concession period are given access to shorter employment requirements.

These applicants must provide evidence of at least:

  • 9 months full-time work in a specified regional area, and
  • 2 years of residence in a specified regional area.
Eligibility for the shorter employment and residence periods for subclass 887 visa applicants entitled to the COVID-19 concessions:
Location Employment  concession (3 months off the 12 month requirement) Residence concession (6 months off the 2 year requirement)
Onshore lodgement Yes No
Offshore lodgement Yes Yes

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