Emerging from the pandemic with a new government all but guarantees the next 12 months will be extremely dynamic for immigration professionals and clients. The incidental changes coming into effect from 1 July 2022 are likely to be expanded on over Q1 as the new government settles in and various agencies report their findings as to the trajectory of Australia’s Labour Market.
The key changes that have now come into effect for FY22/23 are:
1. Permanent Migration Program planning levels for 2022-23
Business Innovation & Investment
Global Talent (Independent)
Total Migration Program
* (Demand driven estimate, not subject to a ceiling)
2. Employer Nominated PR Concessions
People holding a subclass 482/457 visa for at least one year between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021 with an occupation on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will have the opportunity to apply for employer nominated permanent residence as if their occupation was on the Medium / Long Term (PR) occupation list.
In addition, legacy 457 visa holders who held or had applied for their visa on or before 18 April 2017, and who were also present during the pandemic will have the age limit removed for a PR application under the Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition Stream.
At this stage, both concessions appear to operate only until 30 June 2024.
3. Working Holidaymakers
A chronic shortage of semi-skilled workers in agriculture, tourism, and hospitality has seen a 30% boost in the number of subclass 462/417 working holiday visas than can be approved this financial year. This has been accompanied by an increase in the maximum age limit (from 30-35) for applicants from Italy and Denmark, as well as the addition of Mongolia and Brazil to the programme.
For the first time, PRC nationals will also now be able to apply online for a working holiday visa for Australia
4. Graduate Visas
From 1 July 2022, current and former subclass 485 visa holders who were affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions can now apply for a replacement visa as long as they hold or have previously held their temporary graduate visa that expired on or after 1 February 2020. Applicants for a replacement graduate visa must have been outside of Australia sometime between 1 February 2020 and 15 December 2021 to qualify.
In addition, for 12 months there will no longer be a requirement to obtain a skill assessment or nominate an occupation in the Graduate Stream.
5. Student Visas
Under new rules, and a newly created visa Condition 8208, a student visa holder will be unable to undertake, or change their course to undertake ‘critical technology related study ‘unless approved by the Minister. The Minister’s decision will be based on an assessment of whether ‘there is an unreasonable risk of unwanted transfer of critical technology by the visa holder’
Critical technology related study is not yet defined but is likely to cover sensitive subject matter such as fissile materials technology.
The relaxation of work limitations for student visa holders also remains in place ‘until further notice’
With the new government emphasising a departure from dead-end ‘guest worker’ style visas for Australia, we would expect to see an increase in available pathways to Permanent Residence status. This may include broad based implementation of the JSCM recommendations including abolition of the demarcation between short term and medium/long term occupations for employer sponsored visas.
Such changes are already substantially overdue and we expect to see noteworthy reform this programme year.
Contact the Migration Team at Longton Legal to discuss these or other migration matters affecting you or your business.
*Disclaimer: This is intended as general information only and not to be construed as legal advice. The above information is subject to changes over time. You should always seek professional advice before taking any course of action.*
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