It said the changes would take effect in the first quarter of 2021.
Mr Hawke said the government was pursuing the changes to allow certain parent visa applicants who have applied for their visa outside Australia to be granted the visa while in Australia during the COVID-19 period.
“This temporary concession would apply to Parent visa subclasses and will allow eligible applicants who are in Australia and unable to travel offshore due to COVID-19 impacts to be granted that visa,” Mr Hawke said.
Contributory parent visas cost $46,300 and require applicants to be overseas at the time their visa is granted.
This has forced parents to go overseas while they awaiting their visa approval, and then undergo 14 days’ quarantine on their return.
Labor MP Julian Hill, who has been campaigning for the change, said it was “too little, too late and doesn’t go far enough”.
“Hundreds of families have already been forced by the Morrison government to waste their savings and make that risky, expensive trip overseas,” he said.
“This change should have been made months ago, yet all the minister gives is a vague promise that he will do something in a few months.
“And what about the other 30-plus categories of visa applicants who will still be forced to fly overseas and back again in a pandemic?”
Anthony is foreign affairs and national security correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.