In a complete turnaround from asking temporary visa holders to return to their countries when Covid 19 initially broke out in Australia, the Australian government has been granting concessions to temporary visa holders so that they can continue to remain in Australia and support Australia’s post Covid-19 economic recovery.
In February the Government had announced extensions to the validity of subclass 485, 489,491 and 494 visas who had lost time outside Australia due to border restrictions.
Today, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs announced the following concessions to temporary visa holders, this time targeting subclass 476, 407 and 408 visa holders. These concessions allow the following:
- Recent engineering graduates who hold a Skilled Recognised Graduate subclass 476 visa and lost time in Australia due to Covid-19 border restrictions will have their visas extended for 24 months. This will come into effect in April 2022 and will allow them to enter or remain in Australia until April 2024. Eligible visa holders will be notified directly by the Department of Home Affairs. It will also apply to those whose 476 visas have already expired providing they were unable to use the full length of their original visa due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
- Secondary holders of Training Visas ( subclass 407) who were only allowed to work for 40 hours per fortnight will no longer be subjected to a limit to their working hours and can now work full time across all sectors of the economy.
- Temporary visa holders with work rights who were in Australia prior to 21 Feb 2022 or who arrive in Australia after 21 Feb 2022 and have a job offer from a Commonwealth funded Aged Care service at the time of application can now apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Event subclass 408 visa up to 90 days before their current visa expires with no visa application charge for a period of 6 or 12 months. These working or intending to work in a key sector such as agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, child care and tourism and hospitality will be eligible to apply for up to 12 months or 6 months if they work or intend to work in any other sector.
For further information or clarification as to how you may qualify for any concessions, please contact our team of immigration specialists.