Immigration Updates and Information for January 2021

January Immigration News

Welcome to 2021! As we end the first month of the new year, join us for a look at the latest news and developments in the world of Australian Immigration.

SkillSelect Invitation Rounds

Immigration is now conducting SkillSelect invitation rounds on a quarterly basis (i.e. every 3 months) until the end of the 2020-2021 financial year. A round was due to be conducted in January, but results have not been made available as yet.

Carer and Personal Assistant Occupations

Acacia has received a number of enquiries regarding visa options for 'Aged or Disabled Carer' or 'Personal Care Assistant' occupations. Unfortunately, these are not on any of the Skilled Occupation Lists for migration to Australia.

These occupations were flagged for addition to the occupation lists back in December 2019 (see our blog here), but due to the COVID pandemic no changes have actually been made.

At this stage, it is only possible to nominate these occupations for an employer-sponsored visa through a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA). Employers based in specified areas of the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Far North Queensland have access to a DAMA with these occupations.

Acacia Immigration will publish any changes to the Skilled Occupation Lists as soon as they have been announced.

VETASSESS Fee Increase

On 1 February 2021, VETASSESS skill assessment fees will increase from $880 for a full assessment, to $927 (plus GST if onshore).

Travel Exemption Update

The Border Force Commissioner's Guidelines for travel exemptions has been updated, with more detail on circumstances that will be considered for entry into Australia during the current border closures. This is particularly useful for those who wish to apply through the 'Compassionate and Compelling' pathway.

Immediate family members of Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents, or New Zealand Citizens usually resident in Australia can still access an exemption based on their relationship.

Temporary visa holders who need to travel overseas for a short period can also apply for an inward travel exemption before they leave. Exemptions would generally only be granted where there were strong compassionate and compelling circumstances, or if travel was essential for business.

COVID Testing for Travel

From 22 January 2021, all travellers to Australia are required to undertake a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure. Only tests specified by the Australian Department of Health will be accepted, and negative test results must be presented to the flight crew before boarding.


As legislation and travel requirements are constantly changing, we strongly recommend obtaining advice on your individual situation from a Registered Migration Agent.

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