New visa concessions offer permanent residency pathways for select skilled migrants and post-study visa rights for returning international students

On 25 November 2021, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke announced new special temporary concessions for around 200,000 highly skilled visa holders in Australia.

 

These positive changes will take affect gradually from 1 December 2021 to 1 July 2022 and will primarily benefit the following visa holder groups:

 

  1. Temporary Skills Shortage visa (subclass 482) (TSS) and Legacy TSS (subclass 457) visa

 

The concession presents an exciting opportunity for 20,000 skilled migrants who remained in Australia during the pandemic, to be eligible for permanent residency. This will apply to:

 

  • primary holders of the TSS (short-term stream) who will no longer be subject to the two-year stay limitation in Australia; and
  • primary visa holders of the now discontinued subclass 457 visa who previously did not meet the age cap.

 

  1. Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489, 491 and 494)

 

Current and expired visa holders of the skilled regional provisional visas, including the 9,000 holders who have remained overseas and unable to travel to Australia due to COVID border restrictions, will now be able to apply for a visa extension; offering additional time to meet the regional work requirements for a permanent residency application.

 

  1. Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

 

The new concessions delivers targeted measures in support of Australia’s international education sector by awarding further study and post-study visa rights for students returning in the 2022 academic year including:

 

  • 30,000 current and former subclass 485 visa holders, whose visas expired on or after 1 February 2020 and unable to enter Australia due to border restrictions, will be able to seek a replacement subclass 485 visa to remain in Australia to live, study or work after graduation;

 

  • The stay period for students completing a masters by coursework will be extended permanently to three years to match that of masters by research graduate;

 

  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector graduates will also be receiving a two-year Subclass 485 visa.

 

  • Students who spent time completing online studies while offshore will continue to have their study recognised in meeting qualification requirements for the subclass 485 under the extension of existing measures; and

 

  • Streamlined application processing with the removal of the skills occupation list nomination requirements for the subclass 485 from 1 July 2022.

 

TANG LAW is pleased to hear of the Government’s continued recognition of skilled migrant workers and the return of international students to Australia in support of our COVID economic recovery efforts coming into the new year.

 

The Migration Team of TANG LAW has significant experience in preparing and lodging a variety of visa applications. If you would like to see advice on your immigration options, give us a call today and we can help you find the best pathway for your migration journey to Australia.

 

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Starick Information Event

Last week, Sophie Manera (Partner), Briony Chen (lawyer) and Alexia Avdoulas (law clerk) of the Migration Team at TANG LAW had the opportunity to present at an information event at STARICK. STARICK is a not-for-profit organisation that supports women and children escaping family and domestic violence.

Tang Law would like to extend our appreciation to all the staff in attendance for the great engagement during our presentation addressing visa options for women who are victims and/or survivors of family and domestic violence. The open discussion highlighted many common concerns:

  • Eligibility for a partner visa
  • Special provisions relating to family and domestic violence.
  • How to prove family and domestic violence to the Department of Home Affairs?
  • What happens with a visa or visa application if there is a relationship breakdown?
  • The common myth that a partner/sponsor can enforce a threat to cancel an applicant’s visa or visa application.
  • Other visa options for women including work or study visas based on skill and/or qualifications, or a contributory parent visa.
  • Available resources in the community.

It was also great to hear from members of the ‘Red Cross Financial Assistance Program’ presenting on a new program working to assist all people with temporary visa holders or those with uncertain visa status, experiencing family and domestic violence in need of financial support.

  • (from left to right: Starick CEO – Leanne Barron, Tang Law Partner – Sophie Manera, Tang Law Lawyer – Briony Chen)

Please contact these organisations directly if you are seeking assistance for family and domestic violence matters, or financial assistance as a temporary visa holder/uncertain visa status.

TANG LAW has significant experience in preparing and lodging visa applications. Give us a call today if you would like to know more about your most suitable visa pathway.

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Department of Home Affairs Doubled Number of Occupations on Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List

Last Tuesday, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Aff​airs announced the inclusion of 22 additional skilled professions on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), expanding the list to 41 occupations.

The Migration Team at Tang Law are pleased to see the continued development of the PMSOL, and recognition of the support of critical sector workers in Australia’s COVID economic recovery efforts.

Now among those in line to fast-track their visa applications are IT and Software specialists, Accountants and Auditors, and Chefs.

Contact Tang Law if you would like to know more about your visa options.

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More Visa Options for Tourism and Hospitality Workers

Due to Australia’s current international border closure hospitality and tourism businesses, who usually rely heavily on temporary workers such as working holiday makers, have struggled to find workers to fill positions.

The Australian Government will now provide more support for Australia’s tourism and hospitality sectors by providing more visa flexibility to temporary migrants in Australia.

International students working in the tourism and hospitality sector will be given unlimited work rights. A 40-hour fortnightly limit previously applied during study periods.

Furthermore, temporary visa holders working in, or with job offers in, tourism and hospitality will be able to apply for the Subclass 408 COVID-19 visa, and will be able to remain in Australia for up to an additional 12 months.

Please contact the migration team at Tang Law if you would like to know more.


About Writer

Sophie Manera is a Partner and Registered Migration Agent at Tang Law. She practices exclusively in immigration law. She is also the Vice-President of the Migration Institute of Australia’s Western Australia State Committee.

Sophie represents visa applicants, sponsors and businesses in lodging applications, attending to complex migration matters, making submissions to the Department of Home Affairs, and representing applicants in the tribunals and courts.

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Veterinarians Added to Department of Home Affairs’ Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List

The Migration Team at Tang Law are pleased to hear of the proposed addition of veterinarians to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).

We understand there is substantial demand for skilled veterinarians nationally, and the Australian labour market is unable to fill these gaps.

Tang Law has substantial experience in assisting veterinarians and employers with finding suitable visa options.

We look forward to the Australian government adding this occupation to the PMSOL.


About Writer

Sophie Manera is a Partner and Registered Migration Agent at Tang Law. She practices exclusively in immigration law. She is also the Vice-President of the Migration Institute of Australia’s Western Australia State Committee.

Sophie represents visa applicants, sponsors and businesses in lodging applications, attending to complex migration matters, making submissions to the Department of Home Affairs, and representing applicants in the tribunals and courts.

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