Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Alan Tudge, Minister for Immigration have issued a join statement announcing the planned visa arrangements for Hong Kong nationals.
As the situation in Hong Kong continues to escalate we expect to see more people looking to relocate and in response to this, the Government has announced a number of special visa measure for students, temporary graduates and skilled workers form Hong Kong who want to live, work and study in Australia.
The new visa arrangements will provide further opportunities for Hong Kong passport holders to remain in Australia, with pathways to permanent residency.
These new visa arrangements include:
- Temporary graduate and skilled workers will be offered an additional five years of work rights in Australia on top of the time they’ve already been in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.
- Students will be eligible for a five year graduate visa from the conclusion of their studies, with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.
- Future Hong Kong applicants for temporary skilled visas will be provided with a five year visa, based on meeting the updated skills lists and Labour Market Testing requirements.
- Existing arrangement will continue to apply for those applicants who study and work in regional areas to help address skills shortages in those areas, with pathways to permanent residency after 3 years.
The Government estimates there are nearly 10,000 existing temporary skilled, temporary graduate and student visa holders in Australia who will be eligible for these special arrangements, with a further 2,500 outside Australia and 1,250 applications on hand.
- Current and future students from Hong Kong will be eligible for a five year temporary graduate visa on the successful conclusion of their studies, with a pathway to permanent residency after five years.
- Former students already on a temporary graduate visa will be eligible for an extension of five years from today in addition to the time they’ve already been in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.
- Students who study at a regional campus will continue to be able to access a pathway to permanent residency after three years.
Temporary skilled visas
- Current temporary skilled visa holders from Hong Kong will be eligible for an extension of five years from today in addition to the time they’ve already been in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.
- Future Hong Kong applicants for temporary skilled visas will be eligible for a five year visa, provided they:
- meet occupational skills lists and Labour Market Testing requirements; or
- qualify through the Global Talent temporary visa scheme, which is for exceptional talent where the sponsoring employer pays above the Fair Work High Income Threshold of $153,600.
- These future temporary skilled visa holders will also have a pathway to permanent residency after five years.
Attracting talented individuals
- The Government will bolster efforts to attract Hong Kong’s best and brightest through the Global Talent and Business Innovation and Investment Programs, both part of the permanent migration program.
- These programs will be prioritised and a dedicated Global Talent officer will focus on facilitating the Hong Kong caseload.
- To support future applications we will re-open our visa application centre in Hong Kong which shut down during COVID-19.
- New incentives will be developed to attract export-oriented Hong Kong based businesses to relocate to Australia. As well as economic incentives, there will be permanent visa pathways available for all critical Hong Kong based staff of the relocated business. The government will particularly target businesses that presently operate their regional headquarters out of Hong Kong who may be looking to relocate to a democratic country.