Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is experiencing longer-than-usual processing times for key employment-based visa categories, according to data released by the government. Specifically, expanded processing times have been recorded for the Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa and the Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa. The expanded processing times come amid recent changes to Australia’s permanent residency pathways and the relaxation of COVID-related restrictions on entry by foreign nationals.
Effective March 18, 2022, the Australian government implemented a set of changes that have opened a new pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers who have been living and working in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Australian government will allow Subclass 482 visa holders in the short-term stream to access permanent residency through the Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) visa. Certain foreign nationals who previously held 457 visas but now hold 482 visas will also be eligible for permanent residency.
Continue Reading Australia Creates New Pathway to Permanent Residence for Some Skilled Workers
As Australia continues to reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian states have begun to lift quarantine and isolation requirements on fully vaccinated international and interstate arrivals. Previously, travelers entering any given Australia state from abroad or from another Australian state were subject to local quarantine and isolation requirements. However, at present, no Australian state is imposing such requirements on fully vaccinated travelers, with the exception of Western Australia, which is due to ease its border restrictions on March 3, 2022. The lifting of quarantine and isolation requirements is a significant step in Australia’s recovery from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to facilitate both international and interstate travel within the country.
Continue Reading Australian States Drop Quarantine and Isolation Requirements
Effective February 21, 2022, the Australian government will reopen the country’s borders to all fully vaccinated visa holders. The government’s announcement means that, for the first time in nearly two years, fully vaccinated tourists, business travelers, and others will be allowed to enter Australia without first receiving a travel exemption. The easing of entry restrictions also comes as Australia is experiencing a 23% decline in COVID-related hospitalizations as the omicron wave begins to fall.
Continue Reading Australia Plans to Reopen to All Fully Vaccinated Visa Holders, Including Visitors
Effective December 15, 2021, the Australian government will allow fully vaccinated travelers in eligible visa categories to travel to and from Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption. The government had previously planned to ease travel restrictions beginning December 1, but postponed those plans because of the identification of the omicron variant. In a press conference, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the easing of travel restrictions will move forward as planned beginning December 15.
Continue Reading Australia Eases Border Restrictions for Eligible Visa Holders
On November 29, 2021, the Australian government announced that it would delay its plan to reopen the country to fully vaccinated visa holders in light of the identification of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The delay is effective through at least December 15, 2021, and applies to students, skilled workers, and those carrying humanitarian, working holiday, and family visas. In its announcement, the government cited the need to gather more information to better understand the omicron variant, including its transmissibility, severity, and interaction with existing vaccines.
Continue Reading Australia Postpones Relaxation of Entry Restrictions for Visa Holders
Effective January 1, 2022, Switzerland will grant complete freedom of movement to Croatian nationals. The government’s announcement means that Croatians will soon be able to live and work in Switzerland subject to the same immigration and work authorization rules as other EU nationals.
Continue Reading Switzerland Announces Freedom of Movement for Croatians, Visa-Exempt Status for Australians
Effective December 1, 2021, the Australian government will allow fully vaccinated travelers holding a Subclass 482 – Temporary Skills Shortage visa to travel to Australia without applying for a travel exemption. The announcement follows the loosening of travel restrictions for Australian citizens and permanent residents and marks a significant step in the country’s reopening of its borders to international travel.
Continue Reading Australia Loosens Travel Restrictions for 482 Visa Holders
In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many countries have imposed both inbound and outbound restrictions on international travel. These restrictions can affect the ability of foreign national residents to reenter their host countries after even brief trips abroad. With the holidays approaching, resident foreign nationals who wish to travel outside their host countries must plan well in advance to ensure compliance with all departure and reentry requirements. Failure to do so could negatively affect their immigration status.
Continue Reading COVID-Related Departure and Reentry Requirements: Plan Ahead for International Travel
The limit on the number of international arrivals coming into Australia via commercial flights, the so-called “passenger cap”, will be halved from July 14 due to concerns around the Delta variant of Covid-19. The new cap will be 3,035 international arrivals per week, and each major airport will be subject to these caps:
- Sydney: 1,505 per week
- Perth: 265 per week
- Adelaide: 265 per week
- Melbourne: 500 per week
- Brisbane: 500 per week (plus 150 surge capacity)