The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Australia immigration was severe. However, as the world is fast recovering from the impact of the pandemic, we can also expect certain positive changes with regard to Australia immigration in the current year.
Subclass 191 to commence in November 2022
Australia launched subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional(Provisional) visa and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional(Provisional) visa in 2019. The holders of these visas become eligible to apply for permanent visa, which is the Subclass 191 visa, after three years if they have minimum taxable income and meet other criteria. So, as the first batch of visa holders will become eligible for permanent visa by November 2022, it is expected that the Australian government will launch Subclass 191 visa by that time.
Both subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional(Provisional) visa and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional(Provisional) visa allow Australian states and territories as well as employers to nominate temporary skilled workers with work experience in a broad range of occupations that are in demand in their respective regions.
It has been announced that the holder of subclass 489, 491 and 494 visas, who are affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions, will have their visas extended by three years. However, more details about this arrangement have not been revealed yet.
Relaxing travel restrictions
Australia government has already proved that it can relax travel restrictions related to COVID-19 pandemic anytime they want. Further, the States and Territories of Australia are also allowed to change their quarantine requirements if necessary. Australia opened its borders to fully vaccinated visa holders in February 2022. However, those who are unvaccinated still need to apply for travel exemption. The government expect that these relaxations will help the country tackle labour shortages to a great extent. The travellers to Australia still need to undergo pre-departure COVID testing, complete the paperwork such as the Australia Travel Declaration and meet the quarantine requirements in the respective states and territories. We can say that further relaxing of travel restrictions will largely depend on the pandemic condition all over the world.
Are you interested in moving to Australia? Explore your options with the help of Australia immigration experts in CanApprove.