Australian visa changes for 2022-23 and what a new government could bring

Visa changes from July 1 will provide skilled workers with new pathways to permanent residency, more places for working holidaymakers and the opportunity for graduates affected by COVID-19 border closures to make up for their time spent outside. from Australia.
Ben Watt, an attorney for VisaEnvoy migration agents, said the changes presented “exciting” prospects for some, with a focus on supporting economic recovery from COVID-19.
“It’s very difficult for many people and many industries to fill staff shortages, especially in certain specialist areas,” he said.

“What it does is pump as many people into the system as possible.”


Mr Watt also said the July 1 changes were seen as a reward for some visa holders who resisted and stayed in Australia during the pandemic.
“There was a lot of hardship for people who were here on temporary visas during COVID because there was a lot of uncertainty.
“A lot of people lost their jobs or were fired, they couldn’t access welfare.
“There were all kinds of difficult things that the cohort of temporary visa holders encountered.”

Here are some of the main changes:

Temporary visas for skills shortage

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa holders will find it easier to apply for permanent residency.
In Australia, as of March 31, there were 52,440 people out of the 482 visas, or 457 related visas, which stopped offering new places to applicants in March 2018.
From July 1, these visa holders can apply for the Transitional Temporary Resident (TRT) visa, which allows skilled workers nominated by their employers to live and work in Australia on a permanent basis.

But the new route will only be accessible for two years from that date.


Luke Edwards, associate solicitor at Work Visa Lawyers, said the temporary change will now make life in Australia more permanently accessible for these visa holders.
“Many of them [visa holders] were looking at a difficult and insecure path to permanent residency,” Mr Edwards said.
“Clients and people I’ve heard from are very happy to now have the opportunity… to stay in Australia.”
Eligible persons should have been in Australia for at least one year between February 1, 2020 and December 14, 2021.
The change will also apply to Subclass 457 visa holders with an occupation on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL).
A Home Office spokesperson told SBS News that the “special concession” recognizes “highly skilled migrants who have chosen to remain in Australia throughout the pandemic”.

“It allows them to stay here, with a pathway to stay here, with a pathway to Australian citizenship,” the spokesperson said.

Exemption from age limit

Another impactful change 457 visa holders means they will no longer be restricted by age to apply for permanent residency through the TRT stream.
Mr Edwards said those visa holders aged 45 and over previously had little or no pathway to gain permanent residency.
“There are people who have been working in Australia for a very long time now, sponsored by their employers,” he said.

“They couldn’t get permanent residency when they were younger [and] are now out of the system. This change is something they have been hoping for for a long time.


The change – which now specifies no age limit for pursuing this option – will also only be accessible for two years from July 1.
To be eligible for the age waiver change, 457 visa holders must have held the visa on or after April 18, 2017.

They will also need to have been in Australia between February 1, 2020 and December 14, 2021 for at least one year.

Temporary visas for graduates

Also from July 1, current and former holders of a temporary higher education visa who lost time due to COVID-19 travel restrictions can also apply for a replacement visa.
To be eligible, individuals must hold a valid temporary graduate visa or have previously held a temporary graduate visa that expired on or after February 1, 2020.
They must also have been outside Australia between February 1, 2020 and December 15, 2021.

The measure was announced with the expectation that it would benefit around 30,000 current or former temporary graduate visa holders.

Mr. Watt said that because of the educational experience of these graduates, they have the potential to quickly make a positive contribution to the workforce.

“We have a large cohort of people with very high skills, with very good Australian education, who have never had the chance to stay and spend time on their graduate visa here.”


A Home Office spokesperson said: “This replacement flow remedies the situation for those who have missed their TGV stay period due to COVID-19.”

Generally, applicants are limited to a single initial Subclass 485 visa, and another visa is only available on a regional work and study basis.

Working Holiday Visas

The COVID-19 border closure meant working holidaymakers were locked out of the country, straining industries that normally depended on their contribution.
But from July 1, there will be a 30% increase in the ceiling, over the period 2022-23 alone, of the number of places available for working holidaymakers from several countries, who are faced with a ceiling, within the framework of the visa subclass 462 arrangement.

Starting in the new fiscal year, Mongolia and Brazil will also have access to the Australian Working Holiday Maker visa program, and there will also be changes to age limits and caps for some countries.

Two people working in a poppy field in Tasmania

The National Farmers Federation has called on the new Labor government to help improve the availability of workers to tackle the chronic labor shortages crippling the agricultural sector. Source: AAP / LUKAS COCH

The age limit for Italian and Danish citizens will increase by five years – from 30 to 35.

There will also be an increase in the ceiling for work and holiday visas for Hungary, Austria and the Slovak Republic, totaling 1,400 places.
Mr Edwards said some sectors were “desperate” for the contribution of working holidaymakers to address labor shortages.

“There is a big call from Australia especially regional and agricultural businesses for more workers and more seasonal workers as provided for on the working holiday visa,” he said.

What will the approach of the new government be?

July 1 also marks the reset of places in the migration program, presenting new opportunities for migrants.
Australia’s various pathways for skilled workers are set to expand by more than 30,000 places.
to push for renewed interest in permanent residency pathways, to combat the insecurity posed by rising levels of temporary migration.


But the new government, elected in May, inherited a migration program still grappling with the impacts of the pandemic, and
Decisions taken by his predecessors regarding the visa framework will continue, some with real implications for those affected.
Mr Watt said people should not expect a “huge change” to the visa system immediately because of a change in government.
“It will be several years or at least twelve months before we see a big change in direction or change.”
Official visa and immigration information can be found at Australia’s .

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