Overview of Changes
- Eligible skilled visa holders must already be in Australia
- Predominantly working in hospitality, health and regional areas.
- Are existing 482 visa holders in the “short term” stream and legacy 457 visa holders who no-longer meet age requirements.
- 489, 491 and 494 visa holders will receive extensions to current/expired visas to assisting with meeting PR requirements.
- Regional provisional visa holders located offshore are eligible for a visa extension.
In a bid to address ongoing worker shortages, the Federal government has announced that approximately 20,000 skilled visa holders who remained in Australia during the pandemic will be eligible for permanent residency.
The temporary concession affects primary holders of the temporary skill shortage visa and holders of the now-discontinued 457 visa, who if previously held “short-term” stream visas were restricted to a two-year stay in Australia without a pathway to permanent residence.
Benefits to Health & Hospitality Sectors
The concessions will significantly benefit workers employed in the health and hospitality industries, who make up one-fifth of the potential pool of new permanent residents and should provide some modest relief to employers struggling to find workers. According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, vacancies in the hospitality industry have increased by 87% since the start of the pandemic, while role openings in the healthcare industry are up by 72%.
Source: Australian Financial Review, 2021