Australian Support for Ukraine
This update explains Australian Support for Ukraine. As part of Australia’s response to the crisis in Ukraine, the Department of Home Affairs is progressing outstanding visa applications from Ukrainians as a priority. This is rolling out across all visa categories.
The government will award visa extensions for 6 months to Ukrainian nationals in Australia. The criteria is that they have a visa expiring before 30 June 2022. This extension is automatic, meaning visa holders do not need to do anything to receive the extension.
The Administration of Immigration and Citizenship
The authorities have added the Ninth Edition of the of the Immigration and Citizenship Programs (2MB PDF) (ICP) paper. In fact, this includes data up to 31 December 2021. This ICP paper may help external stakeholders understand the development of visa administration. This is because it includes regularly published data, providing a tri-annual overview of the administration of visa, citizenship and border.
Moreover it includes compliance programs, focusing on recent environmental factors, program developments and trends.
Australia reopening to international travel
Since 21st February 2022, Australia has been gradually opening up its borders to the world following the Covid 19 pandemic. Australia now fully reopens its borders to remaining, fully vaccinated, temporary visa holders. This includes Visitor Visas and Bridging Visa B holders who are fully vaccinated are able to travel to Australia and do not need a travel exemption. Unvaccinated travellers will need a travel exemption to enter Australia. Alternatively, they will need evidence of an eligible medical reason to prove that they cannot be vaccinated. Unvaccinated travellers will need to adhere to the quarantine requirements. All incoming travellers still need to comply with the quarantine requirements of each state or territory of their arrival, and any other state or territory to which they plan to travel.
The definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ for the purposes of Australia’s international border entry requirements still rely on the advice from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), in that individuals must have received a complete two doses of a TGA approved or a recognised vaccine to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ (or one dose, for the Janssen vaccine). The government encourages travellers to access Australia’s booster vaccination program.
The Global Talent (subclass 858) visa program
Streamlined processing: Registered Migration Agents help the process by streamlining the expression of interest (EOI) assessment by: • Providing relevant documents for submitted EOIs • Providing new evidence in response to requests for further information • Labelling and organising the documentation • Minimising enquiries to the Global Talent mailbox Invitation reminders
Limited places still remain for the Global Talent visa this year. Reminders are being sent to some clients (or their authorised recipients) who have received invitations.
For more information:
For more information, get in touch with our Australian Migration Agents to assist you with the Global Talent visa application process from start to finish.
Contact us on 0207 427 5290 or email us: [email protected]
Temporary Activity (subclass 408) COVID-19 Pandemic event visa
Changes have been made to the subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) COVID19 Pandemic event to now include all sectors since 2 March 2022.
Temporary visa holders with work rights will be able to access the Pandemic event visa for nil Visa Application Charge (VAC) for a period of 6 or 12 months if they work in any sector of the Australian economy. The length of stay granted to applicants under the Pandemic event visa varies, depending on certain eligibility requirements: • The Commonwealth Aged Care sector= may be granted a visa of up to 12 months to remain and work in that sector. • A key sector (aged care, agriculture, child care, disability care, food processing, health care and tourism and hospitality)= may be granted a visa of up to 12 months to remain and work in any of those key sectors. • Any other sector= may be granted a visa of up to 6 months to remain and work in those sectors. These new arrangements will be made available for Pandemic event visa applications made on or after 21 February 2022 by: • Temporary visa holders who were in Australia prior to 21 February 2022 • Temporary visa holders who arrive in Australia after 21 February 2022 and have work rights or a job offer from a Commonwealth funded aged care service at time of application. Correct evidence is required for applicants to prove they are employed in Australia or have a job offer to work in Australia.
Get in touch with one of our MARA Agents to ensure you have the right documents and help you through the visa application process from start to finish. Contact us on 0207 427 5290 or email us: [email protected]
Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)
Reminder: Uploading Business Innovation and Investment Program visa documents. For applications lodged on or after 13 November 2021, all documents for Business Innovation and Investment Program visas should now be submitted online through ImmiAccount. Failure to do so may result in delays in processing.
Requests for extension of time to provide documents
Within the Business Innovation and Investment Program, there may be some delay to responses for requests for an extension of time to provide. These requests will be considered in line with local procedures and any extensions are made in accordance with State legislation. When requesting extensions of time to provide documents, it is important to provide specific information and relevant evidence of any attempts to obtain the requested information within the original timeframe. Update for Business Innovation and Investment Program processing in Hong Kong.
The Business Innovation and Investment Program processing team in Hong Kong has been impacted by local COVID-19 measures and applicants may experience some delays in processing their visa.
Employer Sponsored Visa Program
Labour Market Testing (LMT) – advertising vacant positions on JobActive
If you are advertising on JobActive you must use the Australian Business Number (ABN) and/or a MyGov account to ensure that genuine employers are advertising job vacancies. Visa processing times – Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)/critical sector Applicants and authorised representatives are requested to wait five weeks from the date of lodgement for PMSOL and critical sector applications before following up with the Department.
Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa
From 1 July 2022, existing TSS visa holders in the short-term stream will be able to apply for permanent residence through the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa.
To apply, applicants must have been in Australia between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021 for at least one year. The pathway will be accessible for two years from its commencement on 1 July 2022. The above arrangements also apply to subclass 457 visa holders with an occupation on the Shortterm Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
Revised Restaurant Industry Labour Agreement settings New changes to the Restaurant Industry Labour Agreement (1253KB PDF) (RILA), effective 7 February 2021, will enable restaurants that provide a ‘premium dining’ experience to access flexible concessions to employ overseas workers.
Key changes for the RILA include: • A ‘premium dining’ restaurants replaces the out-dated ‘fine-dining’ term. • Enables overseas workers to be employed in the occupation of ‘Café or Restaurant Manager’, in addition to the existing RILA occupations of ‘Chef’, ‘Cook’ and ‘Trade Waiter’. • Clarifying specialised roles, such as Sommelier and Maître d’, fall under the ‘Trade Waiter’ occupation and duties as defined in the RILA. • Clarifying rates of pay for overseas workers to be no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold or the Australian Market Salary Rate. • An English concession for TSS and SESR visa applicants, so that overseas workers must achieve an overall score of IELTS 5.0, with no less than IELTS 4.5 for listening and speaking components, and no less than IELTS 4.0 for reading and writing components. • An age concession, allowing workers under 55 years old to be eligible to apply for ENS or SESR visas.
To apply for a new RILA, on-line labour agreement request forms are available in ImmiAccount.
Get in touch with our Australian Migration Agents to assist you with the skilled visa application process from start to finish.
Contact us on 0207 427 5290 or email us: [email protected]
General Skilled Migration program Updates
Definition of De Facto Relationship and Implications for GSM Points
The relevant legislation for assessing De Facto relationships in the context of a General Skilled Migration visa application, are: • Section 5CB of the Act – defines a de facto partner/de facto relationship • Regulation 1.09A of the Regulations – specifies four matters which may be considered in determining if an applicant meets the definition of de facto partner prescribed in s5CB • Regulation 2.03A of the Regulations – specifies prescribed criteria applicable to de facto partners including the requirement that any de facto relationship must have been in existence for the 12 months immediately prior to the visa application
The SkillSelect system will allocate points for partner relationship status as follows (item 6D112): • Single – SkillSelect will award 10 points • Engaged – SkillSelect will award 10 points • Married – SkillSelect will award 0 points • De Facto – SkillSelect will award 0 points
Where intending applicants are both in a de facto relationship and engaged simultaneously at time of EOI, they may consider selecting “De Facto” rather than “Engaged” when calculating their point score irrespective of the length of the de facto relationship to avoid being invited at a higher point score than what the visa applicant will be able to meet.
Definition of Regional Areas for Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa and Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa
The grant date of a subclass 489 visa or subclass 491 visa is the relevant date to determine where a visa holder can live, work and/or study.
The following are the relevant instruments for the definition of Regional Area: Subclass 489 (STN) – Condition 8539 Subclass 489 (Family Sponsored) – Condition 8549 Subclass 491 (STN or Family Sponsored) – Condition 8579 Granted before 16 November 2019 IMMI 12/015 IMMI 16/044 Not Applicable Granted on or after 16 November 2019 and before 5 March 2022 LIN 20/292 IMMI 16/044 LIN 20/292 Granted on or after 5 March 2022 LIN 22/022 IMMI 16/044 LIN 22/022
International Students and Graduates:
Changes to support the return of international students and graduates include: • visa extensions for eligible Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders; • temporary removal of work restrictions for all student visa holders; and • Visa Application Charge refunds for student visa holders who arrive in Australia from 19 January to 19 March 2022.