Further flexibility for certain temporary visas

Morrison Government announces the number of visa holders who’ve returned to Australia since November 2021, the strong demand for temporary visas, and further flexibility for certain temporary visas.

Alex Hawke, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs released a statement on the 18th of January 2022, announcing the Morrison governments plan for further flexibility on temporary visas and workers in critical roles. This comes as part of Australia’s pandemic recovery plan. The reopening of Australia to temporary visa holders includes international students, skilled workers and working holiday makers, skilled regional provisional visa holders, temporary graduate visa holders.

Arrival Numbers

The November 2021 announcement made by the Morrison government announced the plans to re-open Australia to fully vaccinated eligible visa holders Including, skilled visa holders, students, humanitarian visa holders, working holiday makers and certain family visa holders.

The below numbers were shared by Alex Hawke, in yesterday’s announcement of the safe re-entry/arrival of migrants to Australia since November 2021:

Visa typeNumber of visa holders who have returned to Australia
International studentsMore than 43,000 international students have returned to Australia
Skilled Workers8,000 skilled workers have arrived in Australia
Working Holiday Maker22,000 working holiday maker visas have been granted since the November 2021 announcement
Family members of Australian’s60,000 family members of Australians have also been welcomed back

Note: The Morrison government’s goal is to remain a top country for prospective international students, over 150,000 students are now eligible to return to Australia to continue their studies.

Changes and flexibilities

Skilled Regional Provisional Workers

Holders of Skilled Regional Provisional Visa’s (Subclasses 489, 491 and 494), who were impacted by covid-19 international travel restrictions will have their visas extended by 3 years to ensure Skilled Regional Provisional Visa holders have the time to make travel arrangements, start/resume living in Australia and settle into work in regional Australia.

Temporary Graduate Visas

From the 18th of February 2022, amendments to current restrictions will allow current and former Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa holders to re-enter Australia and apply for further stay. Graduates who were outside Australia at any point between 01/02/2020 and 14/12/2021 while holding a Temporary Graduate Visa will have their visas extended. Visa holders will be notified directly by the Department of Home Affairs from the 18th of February onwards granting the extension of their visa and can arrive after this occurs.

Note: From 1 July 2022, further planned changes will be announced that will provide a further extension option to former graduates.

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