Update on Australia border opening
With the opening of Australia’s borders on 21 February, the Government is now working through a 2 year backlog of visa applications coupled with staff shortages.
Average processing times across most visa categories has increased dramatically, coupled with an enormous increase in visa applications by people wanting to travel to Australia.
Skilled temporary visa applications such as the 482 visas are processed according to government policy priorities which we have outlined below. The Australian Immigration Department does not have expedited processing for a fee service nor are applications processed on a ‘first come first serve basis’
For your information the team at Visa Executive thought it a good idea to let clients know the order of processing of 482 applications and these are detailed below:
482 visa processing priorities
- Any of the following:
- Nominated occupations specified in the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
- Nominations lodged in relation to a Global Talent Employer Sponsored Agreement
- Nominations lodged in relation to an Agricultural Sector Occupation.
- Nominations lodged for an occupation in a Critical Sector not mentioned in (1)
- Any of the following:
- Occupations in regional Australia, where applicants are nominated under a Designated Area Migration Agreement
- applicants who are nominated by approved sponsors with Accredited Status (most businesses)
- applicants who seek to satisfy the criteria for grant in the Labour Agreement stream of the Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa program not mentioned in (1).
- Applicants who are nominated by approved sponsors with Accredited Status not mentioned in priority (1) or (2) above
- Nominations lodged by a Party to a Labour Agreement not mentioned in priority (1), (2) or (3) above
- All other nominations lodged under the Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa program, including Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa applications (many business fall in to this category).
For categories 1 – 6 above, priority will be given to holders of eligible passports who are in Australia over those offshore.
For categories 3 – 6 above, priority will be given to applications made by other passport holders who are onshore.
Training (Subclass 407) visa holders
Good news on the 407 training visa is that the Government is temporarily removing the limit on secondary Training (subclass 407) visa holders’ working hours across all sectors of the economy.
This measure takes effect immediately for existing and new secondary Training visa holders, and will be reviewed in April 2022.
Access to COVID-19 Pandemic Event (Subclass 408) visas
Due to the country’s low unemployment rate and chronic skill shortage across many industries, temporary visa holders with work rights will be able to access the COVID-19 Pandemic Event (Subclass 408) visa incurring no Visa Application Charge for a period of 6 or 12 months if they work in any sector of the Australian economy.
Presently, the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa is available with no Visa Application Charge for 12 months for any person working in, or with an offer to work in agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, child care, and tourism and hospitality.
The new arrangements will only be 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; as well as
- 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.
Temporary visa holders working in, or intending to work in, any sector of the Australian economy including Commonwealth funded aged care will be able to apply for the Pandemic Event visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months if working or intending to work in a key sector (including agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, child care, and tourism and hospitality) or 6 months if working or intending to work in any other sector.