End of year synopsis 2023

Welcome to the end of 2023 everyone.  We have provided a snapshot of important changes to Australia’s migration program that have occurred this year for your reading pleasure……..

Working Holiday Visa Extension On 6 Month Work Limitation

Visa condition 8547 – ​​​​​​​​​​​​6-month work limitation

On 19 January 2022, the 6-month work limitation was temporarily relaxed. The relaxation of this condition was initially in effect until 31 December 2022, and it was later extended until 30 June 2023.

This change allows Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) to work with any one employer for the duration of their visa without requesting permission, and any work that is carried out before 1 July 2023 will not be counted towards the 6-month limitation period.
From 1 July 2023 onwards, WHMs may work for any employer for up to an additional 6 months (as long as their visa remains valid)  even if they worked for that same employer before 1 July 2023.

March 11th, 2023

Visa Executive | Extended Post Study Rights

Extended Post Study Rights

The Australian Government has announced that the post-study work rights for international students who have graduated from an Australian higher education provider, will be extended to assist in addressing skills shortages.
A list of eligible occupations and eligible qualifications have been released, targeting health, teaching, engineering and agricultural fields.

The extended work rights come into effect from 1 July 2023. Current settings will be increased by two years for each graduate level:

  • two years to four years for select Bachelor degrees
  • three years to five years for select Masters degrees
  • four years to six years for all Doctoral degrees.

Existing regional and remote Australia settings will be maintained and where relevant will be eligible for the additional two years.

These targeted skills will be considered on an annual basis and updated as needed in response to the labour market.

Eligible graduates with a valid Temporary Graduate Visa on 1 July 2023 or who apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa after 1 July 2023, will be considered for the two-year extension.

What does this mean for Australian employers ?

Some graduates from Australian Universities will be able to work with you for longer periods and without any work restrictions.

A reminder to always check the work status and visa expiry on VEVO

April 26th, 2023

A surprise announcement by the Government! Australian citizenship could be easier and more straightforward for New Zealand citizens.

A surprise announcement by the Government over the weekend looks like Australian citizenship will be easier and more straightforward for New Zealand citizens.
Please note that this change is applicable to New Zealand passport holders only and not those holding a New Zealand visa.

Although there is not yet any legislation, we understand that the following requirements will come into effect on 1 July 2023.

  • Long term New Zealand citizens resident in Australia will have their period of permanent residence backdated for citizenship purposes.
  • All New Zealand citizens holding a 444 visa will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes.
  • New Zealand citizens granted a visa subclass 444 before 1 July 2022 will have their period of permanent residence for citizenship purposes backdated to 1 July 2022.
  • New Zealand citizens granted a visa 444 for the first time on or after 1 July 2022 will be considered a permanent resident for citizenship purposes from the date of their 444 grant.
  • Provisions will also apply to New Zealand citizens who are overseas, but held a visa subclass 444 immediately before last leaving Australia.

Children of SCV holders

From 1 July 2023, any child born in Australia on or after 1 July 2022 to a visa holder of a 444 visa holder may automatically acquire Australian citizenship at birth.

From 1 July 2023, children who meet these circumstances can apply for​ evidence of citizenship.
Australia citizenship applications until 1 July 2023

Yesterdays announcement will not apply to citizenship applications submitted before 1 July 2023. Applications submitted before this date must meet the current requirements at that application before this date, and you do not meet the eligibility requirements.

May 10th, 2023

Australia – Student Visa Holders Working In Aged Care Only.

From 1 July 2023​​, work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced except for those working in aged care.

Student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the pandemic, and completely removed in January 2022 to allow primary and secondary student visa holders to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages.

The Australian Government has today announced that student visa holders already working in the aged care sector on 9 May 2023 can continue to work unrestricted hours in the aged care sector until 31 December 2023.​

Student visa holders currently working in the aged care sector and who transfer to another aged care facility would also meet todays policy announcement.

From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for all other student visa holders will be re-introduced and capped at the increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight.
Information for students in aged care:
You must continue to balance your study and work commitments even though there is flexibility in the number of hours you can work.

Students must still:

  • maintain their course enrolment
  • ensure satisfactory course attendance, and
  • ensure satisfactory course progress.

Student visa holders who cancel their enrolment and stop attending classes, or fail to meet satisfactory course progress, may be in breach of their visa conditions.  

What does this mean for employers in aged care ?
If you employ a student visa holder in your business, you can continue their employment with unrestricted work hours up to and including 31 December 2023.

June 1st, 2023

Australia And UK Free Trade Agreement

As of midnight tonight, Australia and the UK will participate in a more generous working holiday/Youth Mobility Scheme.

This follows the entry into force of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (Australia-UK FTA) on 31 May 2023. 

Under the new arrangements, UK passport holders coming to Australia will be able to:

  • apply for a Working Holiday visa if they are between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) years This is an increase of the previous age limit of 30 years.
  • be granted up to three Working Holiday visas without having to meet any specified work (e.g.farm work) requirements from 1 July 2024.

 Removal of ‘specified work’ requirements

  • To be eligible for a second or third Working Holiday visa applicants currently must show that they have done at least three or six months of ‘specified work’.
  • From 1 July 2024, UK passport holders will not have to meet this requirement when applying for a second or third Working Holiday visa on or after this date.

 Maximum stay of three years

  • Working Holiday visa holders can currently stay three years in Australia. This stay consists of three separate visas granted for 12 months each. This excludes any ‘COVID-19 affected visa’ granted at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. These arrangements will not change.
  • From 1 July 2024, UK passport holders, including those already granted a subclass 417 visa, who are eligible to apply for a second or third Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa, will not have to meet any specified work (e.g.farm work) requirements when applying for a second and third visa.
  • UK passport holders can choose to apply for a first, second and third Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa at any time while they still meet the eligible age requirement. They do not need to stay in Australia for three years in a row. Applicants can lodge applications for second and third Working Holiday (subclass 417) visas in or outside Australia.
  • If a UK passport holder has already spent one or two years in Australia on a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa before the new arrangements commence, they can apply for the remaining visa(s) under the new arrangements from 1 July 2024. This will enable access to the maximum of three years in Australia.

July 1st, 2023

Visa Executive | Work Restrictions For Student Visa Holder

From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced.
Student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the pandemic, and completely removed in January 2022 to allow primary and secondary student visa holders to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages. This will end on 30 June 2023.

From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced and increased to 48 hours per fortnight.

What does this mean for HR Managers and employers ?
You need to ensure that employment contracts/ payroll reflect the new hours going forward for any student visa holders.

How do you know if your employee holds a student visa ?
A student visa is subclass 500 so look out for this number on their visa or VEVO verification

July 1st, 2023

TSMIT increase on 1 July 2023

The TSMIT (Temporary Salary Migration Income Threshold) will be increasing for all new 482 applications lodged from 1 July 2023.
The TSMIT is the threshold minimum wage that can be offered to a sponsored skilled migrant (noting migrants must be paid the market salary if it is higher). The market salary for the position must be greater than the TSMIT.  If the market salary for the position is lower than the TSMIT then you will not be able to sponsor an overseas worker for the position under the 482 visa programme.
For applicants who hold a valid 482, their salary will not be affected by this change, however if a new visa application is to be lodged post 1 July, then the new TSMIT Threshold will be a new criterion.
Although the increase will be $70,000 remember that this does not include the following:

  • Superannuation
  • non-monetary benefits 

So, although everyone is talking about $70,000, in terms of total employment costs (TEC), from 1 July 2023 $70,000 will be $77,700 incl. 11% superannuation.

July 5th, 2023

Schedule Of Australian Government Fees – July 2023

Visa Subclass
Base ApplicationDependent
18 Years and Over
Under 18 Years
417 (Working Holiday) / 462 (Work and Holiday)
400 (Temporary Work – Short Stay Specialist)
#482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) Nomination
Short-Term Application*
Medium- and Long-Term Application*


Standard (and Overseas) Business Sponsorship
#186 (ENS) / #187 (RSMS) Nomination


100 (Partner) / 820 (Partner)
407 (Training) Nomination


408 (Temporary Activity – All Streams)
Australian Citizenship
$540 –$330+
155 / 157 (Resident Return)
Temporary Activities Sponsorship
461 (New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship)
189 / 190 / 489 (Skilled)
020 (Bridging B)
600 (Visitor)
485 Graduate Temporary$1,895$950$475
500 Student
858 Global Talent Visa
494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa
491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa
864 Aged Parent (Contributory)
103 Parent
870 – Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa
Skills Assessment # see note below

# A charge for the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) applies to these visas. See below for a detailed breakdown.
^ subclass 189 the secondary application fee is $2320
+ ages 16-17 years only
# Fee for Skills Assessment varies depending on authority. Visa Executive will provide you current fee payable at time of application.
* The STAC of $700 is levied per person when certain temporary visas are lodged for a second or subsequent time while the applicant is in Australia
Immigration levy a credit card surcharge. This ranges from 1.01% to 1.99% depending on the type of card.

+ first instalment charge. Second instalment charge is $9430
Charges relating to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)
The Nomination Training Contribution (NTC) charge is levied to aid in funding the SAF. With regards to Australian government fees, any reference to the NTC charge or SAF are referring to the same fee.
The NTC charge applicable to an application is dependent upon the annual turnover (in AUD) of the sponsoring company and, for the subclass 482 visa, the length of stay granted for the visa..

Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)

Length of Visa
Sponsoring Company Turnover <$10millionSponsoring Company Turnover ≥$10million
One (1) year
Two (2) years
Three (3) years
Four (4) years

A full breakdown of the NTC charge for a subclass 186 or subclass 187 visa is shown in the table below.
Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) / Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visas

Sponsoring Company Turnover <$10million
Sponsoring Company Turnover ≥$10million

Please note that the NTC charge must be paid by the sponsoring company. It is an obligation as a sponsor that the NTC charge as a cost cannot be recovered or transferred to another person e.g. a nominee.

September 1st, 2023

Pandemic Event SC 408 Closure

1 September 2023 – The Australian Government has announced it is closing the Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) Australian Government endorsed events (COVID-19 Pandemic event) – referred to as the Pandemic Event visa
From 2 September 2023, the Pandemic Event visa will only be open to applications from existing Pandemic Event visa holders.  New visas for existing holders will have a 6 month visa validity only and will incur a charge of $405 for the visa.

➡ Pandemic Event visa holders will be able to apply for a subsequent visa after 2 September 2023 until the visa is fully closed by February 2024 to everyone.

➡ All other visa holders will be ineligible for the Pandemic Event visa from 2 September 2023.

25 November, 2023

Streamed pathway to permanent residence

The government opened the doors to residence for holders of 482 visas on 25 November 2023.  No matter which stream, the applicant had been sponsored under on their 482 or old 457 visa, the visa holder can now apply for the 186 visa after 2 years on the 482/457 visa instead of three.

Applicants sponsored under a Labour Agreement are also able to access these concessions where they have not already accessed concessions under the agreement.  For those who have accessed concessions, they must  complete the requirements for residrence as per the original Labour Agreement.

Hodlers of visa subclasses 309,820,801 and 485 can now be granted their visa no matter the location of the application at the time of grant.

What a year it has been for us all and we would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your families and loved ones all a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas.

We sincerely appreciate your support and friendship throughout the year, and we look forward to 2024.

The Visa Executive team will be taking this time off to spend the wonderful holiday season with their families and friends.

Our team will be offline from 20 December 2023 at 12 noon and will return to work on 2 January 2024 with minimal staff. We will be fully staffed from Monday 8 January 2024.