The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs has recently issued a legislative revision through Instrument LIN 24/020, 2024, which modifies the Migration Regulations 1994, specifically relating to the conditions of Subclass 417 and 462 Visas. Effective from the day subsequent to its registration on the Federal Register of Legislation, this update extends the definition of 'specified work' to not only include tasks associated with the recovery from floods and bushfires but also to cover a wider array of natural disaster recoveries, such as those from cyclones and storm surges.
The purpose of these amendments is to acknowledge and leverage the critical role that participants of the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program play in the rehabilitation of communities and businesses affected by such disasters, thereby accelerating the recovery process.
Moreover, the revision broadens the range of geographical locations where such recovery work can be recognized, adopting a more comprehensive stance towards disaster recovery efforts. This adjustment was made following consultations with both the National Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Home Affairs, ensuring that the changes accurately represent the diversity of natural disasters and the areas they impact. Further details on these changes are made available on the Department of Home Affairs' website, providing essential information for visa holders and applicants.
By amending the 'specified work' requirements, this legislative instrument underlines the Australian Government's recognition of the pivotal support provided by WHM visa holders in disaster recovery efforts, thus expanding the scope of activities and locations deemed eligible under this program.
Home Affairs - Latest News
Joint Media Release - 2/02/2024
The Australian Government’s legislative updates on November 25, 2023, have forged a path to permanent residency for numerous Subclass 482 visa holders. Additionally, many COVID-19 concessions for employer-sponsored and other visas have been rescinded.
Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (482) Visa:
The sole change is lifting restrictions on the number of short-term 482 visas while in Australia. Despite this positive amendment, the 'Genuine Temporary Entrant' criterion remains a consideration at each renewal.
Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa:
Amendments to the Temporary Residence Transitional stream now encompass most 482 visa holders. Eligibility requirements include possessing a relevant ANZSCO occupation code, nominating a position within the same ANZSCO group, holding a 457/482 visa for two years, and working in the nominated role for two of the past three years on a full-time basis in Australia. Standard ENS criteria also apply, including age, English proficiency, salary, health, and character prerequisites.
Age Exemptions for Applicants over 45:
Exemptions for regional medical practitioners and high-income earners are now aligned with the 2-year transitional pathway. The 'Legacy 457 worker' group has until June 30, 2024, to apply for the transitional ENS visa if they are over 45 years old.
On-Hire Labour Agreement Workers:
There is no change for 482 visa holders under On-Hire Labour Agreements regarding meeting ENS requirements, as the need for the nominating business to employ the person directly persists.
No changes to the ENS Direct Entry pathway or the Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa have been implemented. A substantial number of 482 visa holders are now likely eligible for ENS visas, prompting businesses to consider policies to support these applications.
Australia's thriving economy has been bolstered by skilled migrants attracted by the country's lifestyle and opportunities. Integral to the migration system is the Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirement, which mandates employers to consider local workforce before recruiting from abroad. Particularly impacted by LMT are the Temporary Skill Shortage (482) and the Medium-term stream and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (494) visas. A pivotal change has taken effect – the removal of the mandatory advertisement on Workforce Australia for LMT, simplifying the process for employers.
Previously, until December 11, 2023, employers had to conduct three valid advertisements, including one on Workforce Australia, to give precedence to Australian residents for job vacancies. Now, the shift from this tripartite advertisement mandate allows for two valid advertisements through alternative channels like online job boards, newspapers, or industry publications. This change aims to balance opportunities for local job seekers while streamlining recruitment for employers.
Employer Considerations: The decrease in advertisement requirements could expedite visa processing times. With the option removed to advertise on Workforce Australia, employers can tailor their recruitment more effectively by utilizing diverse platforms. It is crucial for compliance with the Department of Home Affairs' guidelines during visa processing. Sponsoring employers must document the advertising used for visa nomination and adhere to specific advertising duration and content requirements, for which our migration team can offer assistance.
Advantages for Employers:
This alteration grants employers greater latitude to select from a wider pool of advertising avenues, allowing for a more targeted approach to recruitment. The modifications to the 482 and 494 visa LMT requisites signify a notable shift in Australia’s skilled migration strategy, facilitating employer procedures while still prioritizing the domestic workforce.
For further details, Contact our expert team.
Book an appointment with MARA Agents.