It is exciting to know that The Morrison Government has created a pathway for highly skilled migrants to remain in Australia and continue to work in in critical sectors. This will be a win-win as it will benefit highly skilled migrants as well the Australian economy which continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes will benefit Existing Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa holders in the short-term stream, and Legacy Temporary Work Skilled (subclass 457) visa holders who no longer meet the age requirement. From the 1st of July 2022, they can apply for permanent residency under subclass 186. This will allow them to stay here in Australia and provide a pathway to Australian citizenship.
Alex Hawke, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs has explained,
“Eligible skilled workers, already in Australia, will continue to support local businesses facing critical shortages, particularly in health, hospitality, and our regions. This recognises the economic value-add of these critical workers and retaining them will greatly assist in Australia’s economic recovery. The changes complement the Government’s recent announcement that fully vaccinated eligible temporary and provisional visa holders may enter Australia without a travel exemption from 1 December 2021. There are currently about 20,000 primary Temporary Skill Shortage and 457 visa holders in Australia who may benefit from these arrangements”
The Government has also advised that they will extend visas for skilled regional (provisional visa) holders (subclass 489, 491 and 494) because they been adversely impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions. This will also provide them additional time to meet regional work requirements for permanent residence.