With Australia stepping into the post-COVID era, the government has introduced certain immigration and visa rule changes intending to spur economic recovery and tackle skilled labor shortages many industries are going through.
These changes, which came into effect on 1st July 2022, will act as a boon for skilled migrant workers who opted to stay back in the country during the pandemic by enhancing their access to permanent residence (PR.)
A Snapshot of Changes:
- Australia’s new migration program year Starts on 1st July: Australia’s migration program year starts on 1st July every year. In 2022, Australia has a target to accept 160,000 new immigrants under Skills, Family and Special eligibility streams.
- Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa holders: Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa holders in the short-term stream can now apply for PR Visa via the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) subclass 186 visa. These provisions also applicable to Temporary Work (Skilled) subclass 457 visa holders with an occupation on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
- Subclass 457 visa holders’ age exemption: Eligible legacy subclass 457 visa holders can access an age exemption when applying through the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) subclass 186 visa.
This arrangement was set to end last year in March. However, the government declared this extension to give 457 visa holders access to PR visa holders even if they don’t meet the age requirement.
For this to happen:
- You must have held a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017
- You must have applied for a subclass 457 visa on or before 18 April 2017 that was granted
Note: The visa holder doesn’t need to hold the same subclass 457 visa still to be eligible for this grandfathering arrangement
- Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 (Short-term stream) visa holders:Eligible former TSS visa holders, who have experience of working in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, can now apply for a third short-term stream TSS visa while in Australia.
- Working Holiday Visa:
Besides the COVID restrictions, most Australian industries also started facing an immense shortage of skilled laborers who moved back to their homeland for fresh job opportunities.
To benefit industries that rely heavily on an international workforce, the government has raised the Working Holiday Visa quote by 30% compared to last FY. Now, all skilled workers from eligible countries can travel to Australia and work under this program.
- Students Must Get Ministry Approval Before Changing Their Courses :
If you apply for a student visa post 1 July 2022, it’ll be subject to visa Condition 8208, under which you must attain prior written approval from the Minister of Home Affairs (MHA) before undertaking a critical technology-related course of study in the postgraduate research sector.
- A postgraduate research course, a master’s degree (research) or a doctoral degree level that relates to critical technology.
- A bridging course identified as a prerequisite to a postgraduate research course pertaining to a critical technology
- A thesis or research topic for a postgraduate research course relating to critical technology
- Fair Work High Income Threshold Increases:
From 1st July 2022, the Fair Work High Income threshold has been revised to $162,000 from $158,500.
Note: This raise may influence your eligibility if you wish to
apply for the Global Talent Independent Program or access age
exemption in certain skilled visas.
- Visa Fee Revised from 1st July: Australia has revised the visa fee for most skilled, visit and sponsored visa categories. The new visa fee is applicable with effect from July 1, 2022.
New Visa fee applicable from 1st July:
|Visa subclass||Old Base application charge||Charges Applicable from 1st July 2022|
|Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) – Points tested stream||AUD4,115||AUD4,240|
|Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)||AUD4,115||AUD4,240|
|Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa Subclass 491||AUD4,115||AUD4,240|
|Visitor Visa Subclass 600||AUD140||AUD150|
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