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January 28, 2022

Unrestricted Work Rights For Students And WHM Visas

In today’s blog update, we’ll be sharing the good news on the extensions of several visas.

Temporary visa holders will receive further benefits, according to two recent announcements. Student visa holders will hold unrestricted work rights prior to the commencement of their course. New students can apply for application charge refunds, and international graduates affected by travel restrictions will have their visas extended and access to a further visa. Regional visas will also be extended.

Let’s find out more about student and Working Holiday Makers visa holders with unrestricted work rights and VAC refunds.

Due to worker shortages aggravated by the omicron variant, all student visa holders can work full-time as opposed to their visa conditions, which will be either condition 8105 for primary student visa holders or condition 8104 for secondary student visa holders. Formerly, student visa holders could only work unrestrained if employed in a critical sector.

According to the recent media release from the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, this also applies to student visa holders where the primary visa holder has not begun their course of study.

This statement explains a vague statement made by the Prime Minister earlier during a press conference.

In April 2022, this policy will be reviewed.

Working Holiday Makers (WHMs), who are bearers of either a subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa or a subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa, can work unrestricted until the end of 2022 as opposed to their visa condition 8547.

Regional Work Visas Are Extended:

According to another announcement, regional visa holders will have their visas extended by 3 years to deliver sufficient time to enter Australia and begin living and working in a regional area.

This decision impacts individuals holding either a:

Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa

Subclass 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa, or

Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa.

This may not be enough time for 491 and 494 visa bearers to satisfy subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa conditions. This is due to one of the essential requirements for a grant is the primary applicant’s taxable income for a minimum of 3 income years, which runs from 1 July to 30 June, is beyond the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold. Furthermore, these years must have been concluded as any claimed income year must have concluded before the date of the application. Therefore, three calendar years might not be adequate, specifically for individuals who cannot claim any previous income years and who do not hold any existing employment arrangements.

Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa extensions and further visa

Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa holders will also have their visas extended if they were away from Australia during a specific period.

To be eligible for an automatic extension, 485 visa holders must have the following:

held a Temporary Graduate visa on 15 December 2021, and this visa expires before 30 September 2022,

not have their visa cancelled since 15 December 2021

have not been granted an additional substantive visa since 15 December 2021, and

have the primary 485 visa bearer in Australia when their 485 visa was granted and was away from Australia for any duration between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021.

To be eligible for visa invigorating, former 485 visa holders must:

have retained a 485 visa and it expired between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021,

not have their visa cancelled,

have not been granted a further substantive visa since,

have the primary 485 visa bearer in Australia when it was granted and was away from Australia for any period between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021.

No application is required, and visa holders will be contacted by the Department of Home Affairs directly.

The promised visa replacement stream will provide current and former 485 visa holders impacted by travel restrictions a further 485 visa; this will begin from 1 July 2022. Applicants must possess or have held a Temporary Graduate visa that expired on or after 1 February 2020 and were away from Australia at any time between 1 February 2020 and 15 December 2021.

While there is a charge for the visa application and likely other costs such as a visa medical, being granted a further 485 for the same period as their original 485 visa with full work rights could be too good to ignore.

There are, as of yet, no regulation modifications made to other promised 485 visa changes other than the increase in the duration of visa grants as this is a policy decision and was implemented shortly after the announcement.

This is the end of today’s blog update. We hope you found this blog useful. Please don’t forget to support us by subscribing to our newsletter and sharing this blog with your friends and family on Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.

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