International borders will remain closed until at least mid-2022 therefore the impact of the recent budget announcement is relatively small for migrants wishing to live, work or study in Australia.
There is little change for those living outside of Australia and the migrant focus will continue to be on onshore visa applicants with the Government maintaining the 2021-22 Migration Program planning level at 160,000 places.
Here is how we see the situation for various visa cohorts:
- Skilled & Global Talent Visas: approximately 50% of the Government’s migration program is focused on highly skilled migrants in Employer-sponsored, Business Innovation & Investor Program and Global Talent visa cohorts. Australia is committed to attracting talent and business from overseas and will be investing $550 million over the next four years and will be streamlining visas to target highly-skilled individuals when circumstances allow.
- Student Visa Holders working in the tourism and hospitality sector - are now able to work more than 40 hours per fortnight.
- Temporary Visa Holders: a temporary visa holder who works or intends to work in the agriculture sector can apply for the 408 COVID Temporary Activity visa 90 days prior to the visa expiry – this has been extended from 28 days.
- Pacific Workers / Seasonal Workers: it is confirmed that the arrangement for workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme to have their visas extended for 12 months, will be continued until April 2022.
- Visa holders outside Australia: the validity period for Sponsored parent (Temporary) visas and Permanent or provisional family visa holders will be extended by 18 months for individuals who are unable to use their visas due to Australia’s border closure. Those who want to travel to Australia but their Initial Entry Date (first entry date) has passed (or will pass within the next 3 months), may still be able to enter Australia by completing a Travel Facilitation Letter.
Here is how we see the situation for various industry sectors:
- Agriculture / Farming Sector: the Government has removed the requirement for applicants for the Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa to demonstrate their attempts to depart Australia if they intend to undertake agricultural work.
- Tourism and Hospitality joins the Critical Employment Sectors: tourism and hospitality has been added to the critical sectors, joining agriculture, food processing, healthcare, aged care, disability care, and child care sectors. This applies to the 408 COVID Temporary Activity visa only.
- Sectors Utilising Seasonal Workers: it is confirmed that the arrangement for workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme to have their visas extended for 12 months, will be continued until April 2022.
Whether you are a business that wishes to sponsor a migrant worker, requires an immigration strategy, or seeks a labour agreement; or an individual who requires assistance for submitting a visa application, get in touch with our team of experts who have a wealth of knowledge and a focus on people (not paper).