August 2020 – as recently announced by the Australian Government, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has extended the length of visas for the skilled (visa subclass 482) and temporary graduate visas (visa subclass 485) to a maximum stay of five years for Hong Kong passport holders.
For those Hong Kong passport holders who on 9 July 2020 held a 457/482 or 485 visa, Immigration are automatically extending the visa to be valid for 5 years to a stay of 8 July 2025.
Secondary family members visas will also be extended regardless of the passport they hold.
For Hong Kong passport holders who have not yet been granted a 482 or 485 visa, their visa will, from now until an undefined date, be granted for 5 years.
The Prime Minister and the Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs also announced on 9 July 2020 that there will be a permanent residence pathway at the end of the five year period. That component will be developed at a later stage.
This provision is not available to British National (Overseas) passport holders.
What does this mean for HR Managers?
The 482 visa is for highly skilled foreign nationals who are sponsored to work in Australia. If you have an assignee who holds a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR) passport regardless of whether they meet the 2 or 4 year occupation list for the 482 they will automatically be granted a 5 year visa.
The 485 visa is for international students who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications that are relevant to specific occupations. When you have a staff member who holds a 485 visa for 5 years this means that you will be able to employ them without any work restrictions for the full 5 years.
For further clarification or information please do not hesitate to contact the Grace Mobility Team.
Please stay safe!
Content courtsey: Visa Executive Corporate Migration