The Covid-19 Pandemic has adversely affected the Australian economy in the past 2 years. The Australian Government has been taking measures to make things normal. Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, continues to improve visa policies in Australia. Several changes are being made to visa enhancements and temporary visa settings by the Morrison Government. It is to support COVID-19 economic recovery in Australia.
Temporary Visa Settings for 476 Visa Holders
A 24-month visa extension will be given to Skilled-Recognised Graduate 476 visa holders. They’ll get the visa extension if they’ve been unable to visit Australia due to COVID-19 international border restrictions. The engineering graduates can live, study and work in Australia on a 476 visa.
Eligible visa holders will get additional 6 months along with the usual period of the visa. According to Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, current and former 476 visa holders will be able to enter and stay in Australia until April 2024.
Alex Hawke said:
This measure recognises the importance of qualified engineers to Australia’s economy, particularly as we continue to manage the COVID-19 recovery.
He further added:
Australia’s international border opened to fully vaccinated Student, Temporary Graduate and Skilled-Recognised Graduate visa holders from 15 December 2021.
Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions in Australia, several thousand skilled-recognized graduates have lost time in Australia. It is predicted that the extension will take effect in April 2022. It’s subject to amendments to the Migration Regulations 1994.
The Department of Home Affairs will notify all eligible visa holders of the extension of their visas. They may arrive in Australia following that notification. People whose visas have expired can also apply if they’ve been unable to use their original visa for the full time period due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in Australia.
Alex Hawke on Temporary Visa Settings
Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, stated:
With unemployment at record lows, the Government is providing targeted incentives for skilled workers to remain in Australia.
There are more jobs now available in Australia than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and businesses across all sectors of our economy are crying out for skilled workers to fill vital roles.
He further added:
Government has listened carefully to the needs of our industries and we are introducing these changes to support Australia’s COVID-19 economic recovery.
The Government is committed to supporting Australian jobs, supporting Australian industries and continually adjusting our migration settings to ensure that support hits the mark.
Temporary Visa Settings for Training 407 Visa Holders
During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Australian Government supported Australian businesses. It allowed the international Student Visa holders to work for additional hours in critical sectors. Since Australia is facing workforce shortages.
The Morrison Government is temporarily extending this arrangement. According to the temporary visa settings, Australia will remove the work hour limit for secondary Training 407 visa holders in all sectors. This measure will be for existing and new secondary Training visa holders. It’ll be reviewed in April 2022.
Access to COVID-19 Pandemic Event 408 Visas
Under the temporary visa settings, Australia will offer Covid-19 Pandemic visas to temporary visa holders with work rights. They’ll have access to 408 visas without Visa Application Charge (VAC) for 6 or 12 months. It’ll be possible only if they’re employed in any sector of the Australian economy.
Eligible People for Covid-19 Visas without VAC
Pandemic Event 408 visas are currently available without a Visa Application Charge (VAC). You can obtain a 408 visa if you work in:
- Food processing
- Health care
- Aged Care
- Disability Care
- Child Care
- Tourism and Hospitality
The new arrangements will be available for you if you apply for a 408 visa on or after the 21st of February, 2022.
Most importantly, people who’re able to apply for Covid-19 visas include:
- Temporary visa holders who were present in Australia before the 21st of February 2022
- Temporary visa holders who enter Australia after the 21st of February 2022. They must have rights to work in Australia or a job offer from Commonwealth funded aged care service at the time of application.
Temporary visa holders who work or want to work in any sector, including Commonwealth funded aged care of Australia, can apply for a 408 visa. They can apply for this visa 90 days before their current visa expires.
They can stay in Australia for more than 12 months if they work or want to work in sectors like agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, child care, and tourism and hospitality. Temporary visa holders can live for 6 months in Australia if they work in any other sector of the Australian economy.
The step to remove the sector limitation to be eligible for 408 visas will support the Australian businesses. It’ll provide a way to keep temporary migrants working in different sectors of the Australian economy.
The Morrison Government has listened to the requirements of Australian businesses. It has made new arrangements in the Australian visa policies. Under the new temporary visa settings, sector limitation has been removed to support Australian industries. If you enter Australia after February 21, 2022, you can apply for a 408 visa without a Visa Application Charge (VAC).
The purpose of the new arrangements is to recover the Australian economy. Australia is committed to supporting Australian jobs. The temporary visa settings have been made for eligible temporary visa holders in Australia. Though, if you’re still confused regarding the new arrangements, you can contact us anytime.
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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.