Australia has announced changes for temporary visa holders, allowing them extended stays.
The Government will extend by three years Skilled Regional Provisional (subclass 489, 491 and 494) visas where COVID-19 international travel restrictions impacted the visa holder. This will assist around 10,000 skilled regional workers.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawk said, “This will provide sufficient additional time for all current and former Skilled Regional Provisional visa holders to make travel arrangements to start or resume living and working in regional Australia.”
Temporary Graduate Visa Flexibility
The Government will make changes to allow entry of current and former Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders from 18 February 2022 to enable them to re-enter Australia and apply for a further stay.
Visas will be extended for graduates who were outside of Australia at any time between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021, while they held a valid Temporary Graduate visa.
The extension will take effect on 18 February 2022, and visa holders will be notified directly by the Department of Home Affairs of the extension of their visa. They may arrive after this occurs, from 18 February onwards.
“These changes support the return to Australia of temporary graduates as soon as possible, ahead of further planned changes on 1 July 2022 that will provide a further visa extension option to former graduates,” said Mr Hawke in a statement.
60,000 family members welcomed
More than 43,000 International Students have arrived in Australia since the Government announced that fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can enter Australia, including Skilled and Student cohorts and Humanitarian, Working Holiday Maker, and certain family visa holders.
There are currently more than 150,000 International Student visa holders overseas.
More than 8,000 Skilled workers have arrived in Australia, and 22,000 Working Holiday Maker visas have been granted since November 2021.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, demand for Working Holiday visas has been strong. Australia has also welcomed around 60,000 family members of Australians visiting since the Government’s announced changes in November 2021.