More Visa Changes to support the reopening of Australia - 482, 457, 489, 491, 494 & 600 visas
The Australian Government continues to make significant changes to the visa system in a bid to attract and retain skilled migrants. It will soon be easier for skilled migrants to remain in Australia and continue working in critical sectors as Australia’s economic recovery continues.
Employer Sponsored Visas
The Minister for Immigration, Alex Hawke said these measures recognise the contribution of skilled migrants who remained here during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage them to stay in Australia. These visa changes will improve access to permanent residence for:
Existing Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa holders in the short-term stream.
Temporary Work Skilled (subclass 457) visa holders who no longer meet the age requirement.
There are currently about 20,000 primary Temporary Skill Shortage and 457 visa holders in Australia who may benefit from these arrangements. Most of these workers are employed in the highest-skilled occupations and the largest cohorts of workers benefiting from these changes include those currently employed in the health and hospitality industries, including many workers in regional Australia.
The Government will also extend visas for skilled regional (provisional visa) holders (subclass 489, 491 and 494) in recognition that this cohort has been adversely affected by COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
Current and expired skilled regional provisional visas will be extended, providing additional time to meet regional work requirements for permanent residence.
According to Minister Hawke, there are currently around 9,000 skilled regional provisional visa holders overseas. These visa holders can enter Australia from 1 December 2021, and they will also be eligible for an extension of their visa.
In recognition of ongoing border arrangements, the Government will also extend by a further six-months Visa Application Charge waivers for new Visitor visa applicants overseas where their visa expired, or will expire, between 1 January 2022 and 30 June 2022.
“This measure will support the tourism industry by welcoming back visitors once it is safe to do so,” Minister Hawke said.
The announcement is good news however it doesn't go into detail. For example, we do not yet know under what criteria will subclass 482 visa holders in the short-term stream be permitted to apply for permanent residence. Once the amendments to the legislation are published, we will have a better understanding of when and how visa holders can benefit from these changes.
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Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Elan has many years of experience working in immigration, finance and health. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.
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