Australia reopens to international travellers on 15 December, 2021

The DHA have confirmed that have reopened to vaccinated travellers as of 15 December, 2021. See the DHA announcement below.

” Reopening to international travel

Australia is reopening its border to vaccinated travellers. This is part of our step-by-step and safe reopening to the world. From 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated visa holders from the following cohorts will be able to travel to Australia without an exemption:

  • international students
  • skilled migrants
  • refugee/humanitarian, and
  • temporary and provisional family visa holders.

This was to begin from 1 December 2021, however the reopening was paused due to the emergence of the ‘Omicron’ COVID-19 variant.

As part of Australia’s reopening to fully vaccinated travellers, international safe travel zones have been introduced for New Zealand and Singapore. International safe travel zones with Japan and Korea will begin from 15 December 2021.

For up-to-date information on travel requirements, visit the international safe travel zone and COVID-19 and the border webpages.”

If you have any questions about a visa application and/or exemptions then please Contact Us.

 

Australia to re-open borders mid December?

Media speculation is that Australia will finally re-open to some travellers

Reports are coming out that Australia will finally take the next step to re-open its borders.

They were due to open on the 1st December, 2021 to some visa holder. This was however quickly postponed for 2 weeks with the spread of the Omicron variant.

News Limited – 9 December, 2021

Biggest hint yet that Australia’s international borders will reopen as planned on December 15

The Guardian – 10 December, 2021

Australia likely to reopen to international students and skilled workers next week

If you have any questions about a visa application and/or exemptions then please Contact Us.

Amendments to recently announced 1st December 2021 changes

Omnicron COVID variant leads to 14 day delay in border reopening

Last week the DHA announced changes to open up the border to eligible visa holders as of 1st December, 2021. The visa holders list included students,  prospective marriage and temporary skill shortage visa holders amongst others.

Given the spread of the new COVID variant the Australian government have announced today that these changes have been temporarily pushed back until 15th December, 2021.

This delay also applies to reopening borders to travellers from Japan & South Korea. Thes were also due to re-open on 1st December.

It follows an announcement on Saturday (27 November, 2021) that the border was closed to any non Australian Citizen, permanent resident or their immediate families, if they have been in a number of African countries where the variant had been detected and spread in the past 14 days.

These countries include South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi and Mozambique.

If you have any questions about a visa application and/or exemptions then please Contact Us.

 

 

Australia to open up to eligible visa holders – 1st December, 2021

Eligible vaccinated visa holders can travel to Australia without an exemption

The DHA have announced that certain visa holders will be able to travel to Australia without holding a travel exemption.

Travellers  will still need to comply with any quarantine arrangements in their arrival  state/territory. However those arriving in NSW, Victoria and the ACT will likely be able to avoid any hotel quarantine arrangements if they can provide evidence of accepted vaccinations.

Travellers should confirm what is needed prior to travel. State/territory border permits may be required. This includes those arriving in one state, but then intending to travel to another.

The DHA announcement is below – https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers#toc-7

New arrangements for eligible visa holders

From 1 December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can now travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption. Eligible visa holders are people who hold the following visas:

Visa
Subclass 200 – Refugee visa
Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa
Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa
Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa
Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa
Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa
Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream)
Subclass 407 – Training visa
Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa
Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa
Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa
Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa
Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa
Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa
Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa
Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa
Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa
Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa
Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa
Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa
Subclass 500 – Student visa
Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa (closed to new applicants)
Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa
Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa
Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa
Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa
Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa

Note: Additional visa subclasses may be added over time. 

This is in addition to the exemptions outlined on: Travel restrictions and exemptions.

If you have any questions about a visa application and/or exemptions then please Contact Us.

South Australia open up to offshore engineers

South Australia (SA) add 24 engineering occupations to their offshore nomination list 

Following SA opening up 70 occupations to offshore applicants in September, they are now opening up further.

Migrate to South Australia

From 10am, local time, Tuesday 2 November 2021 the following engineers can also apply to be nominated by SA.

  • 133211 – Engineering Manager
  • 233111 – Chemical Engineer
  • 233112 – Materials Engineer
  • 233212 – Civil Engineer
  • 233112 – Geotechnical Engineer
  • 233213 – Quantity Surveyor
  • 233214 – Structural Engineer
  • 233215 – Transport Engineer
  • 233311 – Electrical Engineer
  • 233411 – Electronics Engineer
  • 233511 – Industrial Engineer
  • 233512 – Mechanical Engineer
  • 233513 – Production or Plant Engineer
  • 233611 – Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)
  • 233912 – Agricultural Engineer
  • 233913 – Biomedical Engineer
  • 233915 – Environmental Engineer
  • 233999 – Engineering Professional nec
  • 312211 – Civil Engineering Draftsperson
  • 312312 – Civil Engineering Technician
  • 312311 – Electrical Engineering Draftsperson
  • 312312 -Electrical Engineering Technician
  • 312511 – Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson
  • 312512 – Mechanical Engineering Technician

If you have any questions about a visa application and/or a nomination then please Contact Us.

 

Changes to Australia’s entry and exit requirements from 1st November 2021

Travelling to and from Australia

The Australian government has recently  announced changes to the policies it has had in place for the COVID pandemic since March 2020.

Vaccinated Australian Citizens & Permanent Residents

From 1 November 2021, fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents will be eligible for international travel without seeking a travel exemption.Children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption.

Covid: Australia to end ban on citizens leaving country

Opening up post COVID

 

Unvaccinated Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents

Unvaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents wishing to travel overseas (apart from children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons) are required to apply for an exemption to leave Australia. They can apply for an exemption but they must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
  • your travel is for your business/employer
  • you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
  • you are travelling outside Australia for a compelling reason for three months or longer
  • you are travelling on compelling or compassionate grounds
  • your travel is in the national interest
  • you are ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia

Returning Australian citizens and Permanent Residents 

Australian citizens and permanent residents do not need an exemption to return to Australia.

Each state manages quarantine arrangements. You will need to check what these are depending on your state of arrival. NSW & Victoria have announced changes from 1st November. Other states have indicated they will be making changes in due course as well.

Temporary visa holders returning home

Temporary visa holders impacted by COVID-19 can make arrangements to return to their home country, if border restrictions in that country allow.

Temporary visa holders leaving Australia for a short trip overseas

Temporary visa holders in Australia can depart Australia at any time, however, they will generally not be permitted to return to Australia without an exemption.

It is expected that this will change in due course. 

In the interim temporary visa holders seeking to leave and then return to Australia, may apply for an inwards exemption before they leave, however applications will generally only be approved if:

  • the applicant meets the requirements for an individual exemption from Australia’s Inward Travel Restrictions, and
  • they have a strong compassionate or compelling reason to leave Australia supported by relevant documentary evidence, for example:
    • attending the funeral of a close family member overseas, visiting a close family member who is seriously or critically ill, or seeking necessary medical treatment not available in Australia, or
    • travel is essential for business purposes.

If you require assistance with an exemption to leave then please Contact Us.

 

” Ban on Australians leaving the country will be dropped as early as November 2021″

 

Australian visa program update – October 2020

Australia confirms commitment to permanent migration for the 2020 to 2021 financial year

In early October the Australian government announced their federal budget for the 2020-2021 financial year. 

On the back of the budget the DHA (Department of Home Affairs) outlined details for their permanent migration program. The below is an overview of these changes.

Migration program focus 

The government announced, due to the COVID pandemic, that the focus of the migration program for 2020-2021 is “on supporting our economic recovery, growing Australian businesses and creating jobs for Australians”.  

Migration program numbers 

The DHA confirmed the permanent migration program numbers will remain at a cap of 160,000. This includes: 

  • 79,600 places in the Skilled stream 
  • 77,300 places in the Family stream. 
  • 3,100 in the Child and Special Eligibility visas

The government anticipate that two thirds of the visas will be allocated to people in Australia.

The remaining visas will then likely be split between the skill stream (two thirds) and the family Stream (one third). 

Migration program – Skilled visas 

A key target of the skilled visa program will be innovators, investors and job creators. They will be encouraged to apply through the Global Talent, Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) and Employer Sponsored Visas. 

Global Talent Visa – places tripled 

A particular focus will be the Global Talent Independent (GTI) Visa. The program for the new financial year will triple from 5,000 to 15,000 places. The target of this visa will be individuals in industries such as:

  • AgTech
  • Space and Advanced Manufacturing
  • FinTech
  • Energy and Mining Technology
  • MedTech
  • Cyber Security
  • Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT
Business Investors – places almost doubled 

The DHA have confirmed that they will double the number of places available for business investors to 13,500 places. The BIIP program will be streamlined and there will be changes to investment and residency requirements, ensuring the program is targeted at Australian venture capitals and emerging small and medium size businesses to support the economic recovery. 

As of publishing this update, we are still awaiting on further details of the changes to be announced. 

GSM Program – skilled migration remains open 

Individuals and their family members can still look to submit an EOI for the GSM program. This includes the Skilled Independent visa  (Subclass 189) and the two State/territory nominated (Subclass 190 & 491) visas . 

Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent visa

At present the DHA have announced that the focus on the Subclass 189 invitations  will be on those occupations listed on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List  (PMSOL). 

It is expected that the required points are likely to remain high. However the 11th October invitation details are yet be released.

State/Territory nominated visas – Subclass 190 & Subclass 491 

The opportunity to be nominated for either of the state/territory nominated GSM visas will remain. At the time of writing, the majority of the states/territories have programs in place to allocate nominations to eligible onshore applicants.  

For offshore applicants, we are still waiting on the states to confirm their program. These are likely to be released in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas. For example:

  • South Australia have pushed back the release of their lists from mid-October to November.
  • NSW  have also confirmed that they will announce changes to the management of the Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) in due course.
  • Queensland have stated that they plan to re-open the program in December 2020.

Migration Program – Family stream

The majority of visas within the Family stream will go to partners, with almost double the places (72.300) compared to the previous financial year. The aim to give more certainty to those wanting to settle in Australia with their partners and plan for their futures. 

Humanitarian Program

The DHA have confirmed their commitment to a Humanitarian Program. A cap of  13,750 places, similar to last year. In numbers, Australia remains the third most generous humanitarian resettlement country in the world.

 

If you want to discuss how you are effected, your current visa application or your visa options going forward please Contact Us

  • Office: +44  (0)800772 0570
  • Mobile: + 44  (0)7710 649194
  • Email:  mark@cargilmigration.com

Update: Australian visa program changes – announcement due 6th October 2020

Australian visa 2020/2021 

As mentioned previously in this blog, changes to the Australian visa program are due to be announced from 6th October, 2020. This date marks the day the delayed 2020 budget is to be released.

While the details haven’t been confirmed it is expected that the Australian visa program numbers will be greatly reduced, and focused on skills that assist Australia’s economic recovery.

It is expected that the states/territories will also announce their nomination programs shortly too.

If you want to discuss how you are effected, your current visa application or your visa options going forward please Contact Us

  • Office: +44 (0)800772 0570
  • Mobile: + 44 (0)7710 649194
  • Email: mark@cargilmigration.com