by Elly Fleming
27 June 2023
The past couple of months we have seen a raft of immigration related announcements by the Australian Government. In this article we highlight the key developments to keep you updated.
Australian citizenship for New Zealanders
From 1 July 2023, there will be a direct pathway to Australian citizenship for eligible New Zealand citizens.
All Subclass 444 visa holders will be able to apply directly for citizenship, as long as they meet the four-year residence and other eligibility criteria.
This change will make it more attractive for New Zealand citizens to stay in Australia, if they are already living there, or to relocate to Australia going forward.
UK passport holders
The long awaited Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (‘Australia-UK FTA’) came into force on 31 May 2023.
As a result of the Australia-UK FTA:
- From 1 July 2023, UK passport holders will be able to apply for a Working Holiday visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
- From 1 July 2024, UK passport holders for the first time will be eligible for up to three Working Holiday visas without having to meet any specified work requirements.
- No Job advertising (labour market testing) will be required when Australian employers nominate UK passport holders for Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visas.
These are significant developments which will assist both migrants and Australian employers.
Expanded pathways to permanent residence
This year the Australian Government publicly acknowledged that Australia’s migration system is one of the most complex systems in the world and is in dire need of reform.
The Australian Government has also indicated that Australia needs more migrants to address critical skills shortages and announced the following changes, which are due to come into effect by the end of 2023:
• The Temporary Residence Transition (“TRT”) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa will be available to all Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 visa holders whose employers wish to sponsor them;
• Applicants will need to continue to work in the occupation nominated for their Subclass 482 visas;
• Occupations eligible for TRT will not be limited to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List;
• Eligibility for the TRT stream will be reduced from 3 years to 2 years employment with the sponsoring employer;
• Applicants will need to meet all other nomination and visa requirements for the TRT stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme visa such as English, health and character requirements;
• Limits on the number of short-term stream subclass 482 visa applications that visa holders can make while in Australia will also be removed.
These changes are welcomed by Australian employers. However, we are still waiting for the release of further details and additional changes that the Australian Government is going to make as part of the review of the Australia’s migration system.
Get legal / immigration advice
If you are not sure if you have a right to enter Australia or which visa matches what you want to do in Australia, get legal/immigration advice before you travel or submit your visa application.
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