The Department of Home Affairs have recently provided information in relation to offshore Skilled visa holders who are subject to visa condition 8504 ‘must enter before a specified date’.
For the purpose of this information, offshore Skilled visa holders are those who are offshore and hold one of the following Skilled visas:
- Skilled Independent (subclass 189)
- Skilled Nominated (subclass 190)
- Skilled Regional (subclass 489)
- Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491)
The 8504 “first entry” date condition requires a visa holder to enter Australia before a date specified by the Minister, this date is provided in each “Grant Notification” letter. The intent of the first entry date condition is to ensure that new migrants enter Australia within a reasonable period after being granted their visa.
Breaching an entry-related visa condition does not in itself cause the visa to cease to be in effect rather, renders the visa liable for cancellation.
The Department strongly advises visa holders to comply with the “first-entry” condition however, given the pandemic status of Covid-19, the Minister will not seek to cancel a Skilled visa where the only reason for doing so would be breach of this condition.
More information about complying with visa conditions can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website here: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au