New Agricultural Worker Visa
This new visa stream will be available to sponsored applicants who wish to participate in the Australian Agricultural Worker Program (AAWP) and will provide a visa for workers for the primary industry sectors, including horticulture, dairy, wool, grains, meat processing, fisheries and forestry.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will manage the AAWP and will negotiate bilateral agreements with foreign governments for the program. The program is only available to workers who are passport holders of a country that is a signatory to the AAWP.
The Australia – United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (AUKFTA) is the first bilateral agreement that includes AAWP arrangements. Under this agreement UK Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa holders will no longer be required to carry our specified work including agricultural work to be eligible for second and third Australian WHM visas. More countries will be added to the AAWP once further agreements are negotiated.
Under new Condition 8611 sponsored AAWP visa holders will be able to work for employers other than the sponsoring employer with the permission of DFAT. Permission may be granted in cases where the sponsor does not have work for the visa holder for a time and other labour shortages exist or where exploitation of workers by the sponsor has been identified.
Visas will be valid for up to 4 years with multiple entries and defined annual maximum stays of 7 (Condition 8575) or 10 (Condition 8576) months in any 12 month period. The distinction between the two stay periods has not yet been announced.
COVID Travel Updates
Leaving and returning to Australia
The Department of Home Affairs has recently updated its website with the following information, after the easing of restrictions in some Australian states:
Fully vaccinated Australians will soon be eligible for international travel without first seeking an exemption.
The government has announced that Australian citizens or permanent residents aged 12 and over who have received two doses of a recognised vaccine will be able to travel without needing an exemption. This could start sometime in November but there will be more information provided soon.
Children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption.
Australian citizens and permanent residents who do not meet the eligibility requirements must continue to follow the current border processes when leaving Australia or coming to Australia.
Returning to Australia
Australian citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated with an Australian Government recognised vaccine, or under the age of 12, may be eligible for reduced quarantine arrangements when you return to Australia. You will need to demonstrate your vaccination status at check-in when travelling to Australia.
States and Territories are responsible for determining, and managing, reduced quarantine arrangements for vaccinated Australians and permanent residents. This may involve home quarantine for a reduced period of time. You must check with the State or Territory that you are returning to for their quarantine arrangements.
NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan
The NSW International Student Arrivals Plan to return international students to NSW has received support from the Federal and NSW state Governments. The Plan is designed allow 250 international students studying with NSW education providers to return each fortnight from early December 2021.
At this stage few details of the plan, or which students will be chosen have been released.
The international students will need to be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccination before landing in Sydney.
International students will quarantine in purpose-built student accommodation in Sydney and need to adhere to the same health and quarantine requirements set by the Australian Government for returning Australians.
Further details will be provided as they come to hand.
South Australia Skilled Visa Updates
The South Australian Government will open 70 new occupations to offshore candidates from 28 September 2021.
The minimum requirements for state nomination include at least 8 years’ work experience in the occupation or a closely related occupation and a proficient plus English level.
Offshore applicants meeting the minimum published requirements can now lodge a Registration of Interest (RoI).
It is important to note that State nomination is a competitive process and there is no guarantee of receiving an invitation to apply for state nomination after lodging an RoI.
Further details are available on the Migration SA website
SC188 Entrepreneur Stream opens
SA Skilled and Business Migration has announced that the Subclass 188 Entrepreneur stream will open for application from 28 September 2021.
Holders of certain visas will not be eligible for endorsement by the South Australian Government, these include student visas (including subclasses 500, 570, 571, 572, 573, 574), subclasses 403 and 771.
Subclass 485 visa holders may participate should it be assessed they have an innovative idea together with a strong business case.
It is important to note:
- Applicants must obtain a letter from one of the approved service providers before lodging an application.
- Must have at least Competent English in each component (IELTS equivalent 6.0)
This newsletter only provides general information related to current migration matters. The information contained in this communication does not constitute specific migration advice, and should not be construed or relied on as such. Professional advice should be sought for the specifics of your situation prior to any action being taken. BD Welsh and Co disclaims any liability (including, without limitation, for any direct or indirect or consequential costs, loss or damage or loss of profits) arising from anything done or omitted to be done by any party in reliance, whether wholly or partially, on any of the information contained in this newsletter. Any party that relies on the information does so at its own risk. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.