Petitioners are asking the Australian Government to introduce a one-off resident visa policy for temporary visa holders, similar to the one announced by New Zealand on 30 September.
Temporary residents in Australia have petitioned to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke to “recognise their contributions to the Australian society before and during the pandemic and avoid an exodus of skilled foreign talent” by introducing a one-off resident visa policy for temporary visa holders, “especially those studying and working for years in Australia”.
This comes close on the heels of New Zealand making a similar announcement on 30 September. The New Zealand Government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand. Some critical purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 on long-term visas may also be eligible for this new visa. Partners and dependents can be included as part of these residence applications. The new migration pathway could potentially benefit 165,000 migrants to New Zealand who suffered significant delays in processing residency applications during the Covid-19 pandemic
The petition says, “Given a population size more than five times New Zealand and similar Covid-Zero policy, Australia faces the same skill shortage problem as New Zealand, and businesses are struggling to find the necessary workforce since the border closed in March 2020. What made things worse was that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has dramatically reduced the skill migration level in the previous and current financial year, with the quota for skill stream cut almost 40% from 108,682 to 79,600. The Australian government only granted 79620 permanent resident visa for Skill Stream in last financial year, the lowest level in the past decade.”
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Australian government have recently acknowledged that migration is crucial to economic recovery after the pandemic. Now it’s a great time to put the government’s words into action, especially for those onshore temporary visa holders, who will no doubt be the indispensable workforce contributing the post-COVID economy recovery.”