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AUSTRALIA: Updates for Employers – Temporary Visas
December 6, 2022
Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has issued updates on the terms for a number of different types of visas. The following is a compilation of changes to temporary visa requirements and conditions.
Working Holiday Visa Holders
The temporary relaxation of conditions 8547 (limiting holders to working for up to 6 months for any one employer) for Subclass 417 and 462 visa holders will end on 31 December 2022.
Immigration has confirmed that all visa holders will reset their 6-month period as of 1 January 2023, regardless of how long they have already worked with their current employer.
Student Visa Holders
Student visa holders will continue to be able to work unrestricted hours until 30 June 2023 in order to meet immediate short-term skills needs.
From 1 July 2023, standard work limitations under condition 8105 will be enforced. The temporary relaxation has not changed the other conditions on Student visas, including condition 8202 stating students must:
- be enrolled in a full-time registered course;
- ensure satisfactory course attendance; and
- ensure satisfactory course progress.
Student visa holders who fail to meet condition 8202 (due to missing classes, cancelling enrolment, or not having satisfactory course progress), will be considered in breach and could have their visa cancelled.
Subclass 408 COVID Pandemic Event Visa
Immigration has begun a targeted push to finalise Subclass 408 applications in this category. Most applicants receive a 12-month visa allowing them to work unrestricted in Australia. Immigration is being flexible with Condition 8107, giving holders the opportunity to work with any employer in any area. There is no need to notify of a change of employment.
However, visa holders who cease employment in Australia are expected to secure new employment or to make arrangements to depart Australia.
Migrants who applied for a 408 COVID visa and have now been granted a different type of visa are warned to withdraw the unwanted 408 application. This is because granting of the 408 COVID visa will replace any visa they currently hold – including any newly-granted 482 visas.
Subclass 403 Agricultural Visa
Businesses waiting for the implementation of the ‘Ag Visa’ will be disappointed to learn that this category has now been removed from legislation and will not be an option to bring in agricultural workers.
Streamlined Health Requirements
Certain temporary visa applicants already in Australia will no longer be required to undertake visa medicals in order to be granted a temporary visa.
Following changes to streamline the health requirement, applicants for visas such as 482 Temporary Skills Shortage, 407 Training, 408 Temporary Activity, and 485 Temporary Graduate would generally only be required to undertake medicals where:
- there is a declared medical condition or exposure to tuberculosis
- they are intending to work or train as a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic
- they will enter a hospital, aged, or disability care facility, including for pregnancy/birth
Immigration will issue a formal request if medicals are required for this cohort.
This is a temporary measure and will be reviewed in early 2023.
Short-Term 482 Visa Holders
Subclass 482 visa holders in the Short-Term stream (STSOL occupation) are able to lodge a second onshore renewal (i.e. their third 482 visa) provided they:
- were in Australia as the holder of a SC 482 visa in the Short-term stream for a total of at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021, and;
- lodge the new 482 application before 1 July 2023.
This change aligns with the Short-Term to PR pathway available until July 2024.
As always, contact your Newland Chase dedicated contact or submit an inquiry here should you have any specific questions regarding this announcement.
This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.