Australian visa changes from 1 July 2022

From 01 July 2022, there are several changes to the Australian Migration. As Australia is moving to post-Covid19 stage, this financial year presents some changes focusing on economic recovery and tackling skilled labour shortages throughout many industries.

Below are some key changes starting from July 2022:

Changes to Australian entry/exit requirements

From 6 July 2022 Australian entry/exit requirements have changed:

  • People entering Australia do not need to provide evidence of vaccination status
  • People entering Australia do not need to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration or Maritime Travel Declaration
  • People leaving Australia will not be asked to provide evidence of their vaccination status
  • Unvaccinated visa holders do not need a travel exemption to travel to Australia

Masks are still required on flights travelling to Australia.

It is important to remember that airlines, vessel operators and other countries may have specific requirements that travellers need to comply with.

New pathway for TSS Visa holders with occupation in Short-term list

Before 1st July 2022, there is no access for TSS visa holders whose occupations are in the short-term skills occupational list. However, from 1 July, Australian Migration offers skilled workers new pathways to permanent residency through ENS visa subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition stream. Accordingly, employers will be able to nominate short-term subclass 482 TSS visa holders in two-year occupations for Permanent residence under the 186 visa if the employee:

  • is in Australia for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021; and
  • meets the general 186 visa criteria under the 186 temporary transition stream;
  • must work for sponsor employer while holding 482 visa;
  • must work for sponsor employer for a minimum of 3 years.

This new pathway is designed to get as many skilled people into the labour market as possible, and also as a reward for those visa holders who remained in Australia during the pandemic and contributed to the economy.

This new pathway will be accessible for two years from 01 July 2022.

To read more about this new pathway, please see here.

Grandfathering arrangement extended – Age exemption for 457 visa holders

Grandfatering arrangements extended : the government has announced the extension of the grandfathering arrangements in place for 457 visa holders who held or had applied for a subclass 457 visa as of 18 April 2017.

The initial grandfathering arrangement was set to end in March 2021. However, the government announced this extension to give 457 visa holders access to Permanent Residence even if they do not meet the age requirement.

These transitional arrangements apply to the ‘protected visa cohort’, which is defined as anyone who:

  • held a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017; or
  • had lodged an application for a subclass 457 visa on or before 18 April 2017 that was subsequently granted.

The visa holder does not need to still hold the same subclass 457 visa to be eligible for these concessions. They can also hold a subsequent subclass 457 visa (457 visa), subclass 482 visa (TSS visa), or related bridging visa.

This change will also only be accessible for two years from 1 July 2022.

To read more about Grandfathering Arrangements, please see here.

Replacement Stream for Temporary Graduate visas SC 485

This stream is introduced to assist those SC 485 visa holders who were not able to stay in Australia for the full period of their previous visa due to Covid19 restriction. To be eligible, the visa holder must:

  • Hold, or have previously held a temporary graduate visa SC 485 that expired on or after 01 February 2020; and
  • Have been outside of Australia between 1 February 2020 and 15 December 2021.

The Replacement 485 visa is available must be lodged before 1 January 2027, and only applies to those who hold the original 485 visa (second 485 visa is not eligible).

To read more about this stream, please see here.

Nominated Occupation and Skills Assessment are temporarily not required for Subclass 485 – Graduate Work Stream

Under this new arrangement, applications for visa subclass 485 under the Graduate Work Stream are not required to nominate an occupation in Medium-Long Term list, and to have a positive skills assessment. This is an exciting arrangement and gives thousands to students to stay and contribute to the labour market with their Australian trained skills.

This applies to applications lodged between 01 July 2022 and 30 June 2023 (inclusive). The Minister may extend this period and will have further announcement close to this end day.

Working Holiday Visa

As part of the strategy to tackle skilled shortage, Australian Government has increased the quote of WHV by 30% compared to last financial year. This means that more workers from eligible countries are welcome to Australia to work and travel under this program. This will hugely benefit the industries which massively rely on overseas workers.

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

More changes about WHV

Visa Application Charges increase

From 1 July 2022, the Visa Application Charge increases by 3%, which is in line with the CPI increase. The increases will be rounded to the closest $5.

Certain students need to get approval from the Minister before changing courses

Condition 8208 is imposed on all student visas. As such, the new condition 8208 means that students who want to change their course or thesis to that relating to critical technology must get the approval from the Minister. These provisions apply to those students already studying postgraduate research degrees at masters (research) and doctoral levels, if they intend to change their course of study, thesis or research to that relating to critical technology or not currently studying at that level but intending to change their principal course of study to a masters (research) or doctoral level.

These students are not required to apply for a new visa, only to apply to the Minister for approval to changes of their undertake research to use critical technologies.

Critical technology related study means:

  • a postgraduate research course that relates to critical technology;
  • a bridging course required as a prerequisite to a postgraduate research course that relates to critical technology;
  • a thesis or research topic that
    • is for a postgraduate research course that relates to critical technology

As the Minister is yet to specify the kinds of critical technology this Instrument refers to, the provisions will not be activated until that time.

Fair Work High Income Threshold increases

The Fair Work High Income Threshold will increase to $162,000 from $158,500. This may affect the eligibility of those applicants to want to apply for Global Talent Independent program, as well as those who wants to access age exemption in certain skilled visas.

Related:

Australian Citizenship payment

From 1 July 2022, fess for Australian Citizenship application must be in Australian and cannot be paid in foreign currencies.

Change to Job Ready Program skills assessment with Trade Recognition Australia

From 1 July 2022, the Job Ready Program (JRP) will move from a four (4) step program to a three (3) step program.

The new Job Ready Program applicants will contact three steps only. From 1 July 2022, new applications will be accepted by selecting the JRP Program Registration and Eligibility option.

To read more about this change, please see here.

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