March 2022 brought with it some exciting movement in Australian immigration. Let’s jump straight in and take a look.
1. New Pathway to Permanent Residence for subclass 482 visa holders (STSOL occupations)
The big news of the month was the relaxation of rules regarding the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS), ENS applications. As of 1 July 2022, subclass 482 holders will have access to the TRTS pathway to permanent residence, if:
- The applicant has been in Australia for 12 months or more (cumulatively) during the period 1 February 2020 to 14 December2021; and
- At the time of application, the applicant is employed by an actively and lawfully operating business in Australia; and
- The applicant meets all the standard ENS requirements (e.g. English, 3 years employment with sponsor, character &health requirements, etc.)
Excellent news for the 20,000 or more subclass 457/482 visa holders in Australia that were previously ineligible for TRTS ENS. For a closer look at other potential candidates eligible for PR through the new pathway, take a look at my analysis here.
2. General Skilled Migration, State-Nomination updates
- Victoria EOI allocations
Victoria has released its latest Expression of Interest/ Nomination statistics for subclass 190, 491 & 188/888 applicants. As of 28 February 2022, highlights include:
- 1924 applications (out of a possible 3500places) subclass 190 nominations lodged;
- 418 applications (out of a possible 500 places)subclass 491 nominations lodged.
- Australian Capital Territory
The ACT has announced that it’s monthly pro-rata quota has been met for the month of March 2022. The following placement levels are available for the remainder of 2021-22:
- 300 places left for subclass 491 applicants; and
- 143 places left for subclass 190 applicants
- South Australia
South Australia is close to meeting its subclass 491 nomination quota for the current financial year, 2021-22. The SA government has requested additional places and is awaiting a response from the Federal Government.
- Western Australia
The Federal Government has granted Western Australia an unspecified number of additional places for state nomination. Western Australian authorities are assessing the current on-hand caseload of EOIs; however, new applications are still being accepted.
- New South Wales
NSW has reminded applicants that the basic eligibility for all NSW state sponsorship applicants is three years of work experience in the nominated occupation. Several changes now apply to all NSW EOIs regardless of when they were submitted or amended. More details here.
- Northern Territory
The Federal Government has allocated the Northern Territory a further 200 places under the subclass 491 visa program. For guidelines on the application process, see here.
Tasmania has released its latest allocation statistics under the General Skilled Migration program. The Federal Government will not allocate additional places to Tasmania in 2021-22. The current remaining allocations stand at:
- 1415 out of 2200 available subclass 491 places used
- 871 out of 1100 available subclass 190 places used.
3. Pre-departure entry rapid antigen testing to be abolished
The Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, has announced that as of 17 April 2022, international travellers entering Australia will no longer be required to provide a negative rapid antigen test result 72 hours before arrival.
Rules regarding double-vaccination and mask-wearing on international flights into Australia will remain.
4. Enhancements to subclass 476, 407 & 408 settings
The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship Migrant Service sand Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alex Hawke MP has announced additional flexibility for certain temporary visa holders. Highlights include:
- Skilled-Recognised Graduate (Subclass 476) visa holders will be granted a 24-month extension to their visas. Eligibility for this extension to be advised, and new legislation is expected in April 2022.
- Secondary Training (subclass 407) visa holders will have work restrictions lifted.
- Expansion of access to the COVID-19 Pandemic Event (subclass 408) visa. Applications made on or after 21 February 2022 by applicants working in any sector of the Australian economy will have access to the ‘COVID-19 visa’. The applicant must have been in Australia prior to 21 February 2022.
Photo by Michael Held on Unsplash
The information provided in this article or anywhere on this website is of a general nature, it does not relate to your specific circumstance. This general information must not be used to form any assessment or opinion on individual visa eligibility. For an individual assessment contact us for a consultation session to confirm if you are eligible for any visa.