The Australian government has eased the conditions for some visas. These include work visas with subclasses 476, 407 and 408.
Shortage of workers and students
Due to the global corona outbreak, Australia closed its borders to all foreign travellers in early 2020. Even Australian citizens had great difficulty entering the country. After nearly two years of lockdowns and other strict COVID-19 regulations, Australia reopened its borders to foreign travellers on 21 February 2022. Although the number of tourists to Australia is slowly increasing, the numbers are not yet as high as before the corona outbreak. This is particularly felt by Australian companies and educational institutions. Australia is normally a popular destination for seasonal workers and students wishing to study abroad. As a result, Australia is facing large labour shortages. The number of international students travelling to Australia has also significantly decreased. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were no longer able to travel to Australia, which meant that their visas were no longer valid.
To solve this problem, the government has decided to introduce a series of relaxations in the conditions for some visas, as it normally takes a lot of time and money to apply for student and work visas. Hopefully, this will encourage workers and students to settle in Australia.
The conditions of the following visas are to be eased:
Skilled-Recognized Graduate Visa - Subclass 476
The 476 visa is meant for recent engineering graduates under the age of 31. This visa allows them to work or study in Australia for up to 18 months. Those who could not use their visa during the COVID-19 pandemic may stay in Australia for an additional 6 months, up to a maximum of 24 months.
Training Visa – Subclass 407
The 407 visa allows a company in Australia to invite individuals for a workplace training course in Australia. In general, the stay in Australia can last up to two years. During this period, it is not permitted to work elsewhere. Because of the corona pandemic, the limit on the number of working hours on a 407 visa is temporarily no longer applicable. This makes it easier for companies and employees to schedule their activities.
Temporary Activity Visa – Subclass 408
The 408 visa can be used for different types of work in Australia, including participating in a research project, religious work or even sports training. The length of time one can stay in Australia depends on the type of work. The Australian government has stated that individuals can temporarily apply for a new 408 visa 90 days before the expiration date of their visa. This means that they do not have to leave Australia to obtain a new visa.
Temporary Skill Shortage Visa – Subclass 482
The 482 visa is intended for Australian employers to fill in vacancies in their companies for which there are no available employees in Australia itself. Depending on the employment sector, individuals may stay in Australia for up to two or four years. As of 1 July 2022, those working in Australia on a 482 visa can apply for permanent residency.
No relaxations ETA (601) or eVisitor (651)
The announced relaxations are intended to partly solve Australia’s labour shortage and to attract more students to the country. The conditions for the two most popular tourist visas, the eVisitor visa Australia and the ETA Australia, remain the same. Both visas are valid for one year, and one can stay in Australia for a maximum of three months per visit. Australia is currently struggling with a large backlog of tourist visas that need to be processed. As a result, tourists may have to wait for weeks before their applications are processed.
Take note: this news article about the visa for Australia is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the visa for Australia.