The Australian government recently updated guidance for U.K. nationals and permanent residents, continues updating the core skills occupation list and clarified criteria for the skilled work regional visa (subclass 491).

Key Points:

  • The Department of Home Affairs recently confirmed that U.K. foreign nationals and permanent residents are now eligible for a longer temporary skill shortage visa duration. Those who are eligible under the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement for the short-term stream subclass 482 visa with a standard maximum duration of two years may now be granted a visa for up to four years. Further advice on this process is expected to be provided shortly.
  • In October 2022, the Australian government established Jobs and Skills Australia to tackle skill shortages and provide labor market analysis to inform final decisions regarding the core skills occupations list. The new statutory body has now introduced a migration labor market indicator model to update the list, and several changes are expected in the coming months. These changes include the removal and addition of occupations that will specifically target the temporary skilled migration system.
  • Finally, the minimum work experience requirement for NSW state nomination for the skilled work regional visa (subclass 491) under pathway 1 has been reduced to six months. Previously, applicants had to meet a required 12-month period living and working in a designated regional area in NSW with a single regional employer to qualify.

BAL Analysis: These changes are designed to better align the visa system with Australia’s free trade obligations, limit reliance on overseas nationals where there is a sufficient supply of local labor in a given occupation and increase the attractiveness of regional migration pathways. The government’s migration strategy is also beginning to take effect with policies designed to reduce net overseas migration to pre-pandemic levels.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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