Jobs and Skills Summit: Graduate Visa to Allow More Working Rights

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Australia’s sought-after graduate visa may be changed to allow visa holders to work in Australia for longer once they have completed their studies, according to government announcements made at a Jobs and Skills Summit last week. Currently most subclass 485 Graduate visas are valid for up to four years, not including time lost to border restrictions.

Along with increasing Australia’s migration intake to 195,000 for 2022/23 and spending A$36.1 million on 500 more staff to address visa backlogs, Minister for Home Affairs, Clare O’Neil and the Minister for Immigration, Andrew Giles said that Covid concessions allowing students to have work rights would be extended to 2023 when they will finish.

Laying the truth bare, the government recognised student visa holders as significant contributors to the labour market in Australia, ahead of permanent migrants and natural population growth. Although raising the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) was discussed, there were suggestions that any such raise would be indexed in order to not contribute to the current skills shortage.

Labour Market Testing was criticised during the summit, it requires Australian employers to advertise for positions in Australia before sponsoring overseas applicants for that position.

Announcements at the Jobs and Skills Summit made it clear that the current Australian government had plans to increase Australia’s permanent migration, moving away from a more temporary model to encouraging more migrants to stay in Australia by offering pathways to permanent residency and citizenship.

In 2022/23 there will be 34,000 regional places and 31,000 state and territory visa places, a total increase of 29,000. Since May, the government has brought in 180 new staff to help address the visa backlog and has processed almost 1.14 million overseas visa applications, with less than 1 million applications in the backlog, according to Reuters.

There are signs that waiting times will come down and it will be easier to get a graduate visa in the coming year for overseas migrants to live work and thrive in Australia. Now is the time to make your next move and start your migration journey.