485 Visas To Be Extended! (For some)
The Government announced yesterday they will make changes to extend the 485 visas to allow and encourage visa holders to come back to Australia as soon as possible. These changes will take effect on the 18th February next month
This is a temporary arrangement to make sure 485 visa holders and former 485 visa holders can get back to Australia as soon as they like instead of having to wait for the new rules to apply for a new 485 visa from the 1st of July.
If the strict eligibility requirements are met, those who currently hold visas will be extended until the 30th of September this year.
For those whose 485 visas has already expired, it will be enlivened, that is, brought back to life, also to last until the 30th of September this year.
The strict eligibility criteria are as follows;
To be eligible for a Temporary Graduate visa extension:
–visa holders must have held a Temporary Graduate visa on 15 December 2021
–the current visa will expire before 30 September 2022
–the primary visa holder was in Australia at the time of their visa was granted
–the primary visa holder has been outside Australia for any period between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021
–the visa has not been cancelled since 15 December 2021
–the holder has not been granted a further substantive visa since 15 December 2021.
To be eligible for visa enlivening:
–visa holders must have held a Temporary Graduate visa that visa expired between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021
–the primary visa holder was in Australia at time their 485 visa was granted
–the primary holder of the visa has been outside Australia for any period between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021
–the visa was not cancelled
–the visa holder has not been granted a further substantive visa.
If you are eligible you do not need to do anything.
The government has all the records of visas and know who has been in and out of Australia and when the visa was granted etc.
They will be notifying visa holders and former visa holders directly.
There is no cost for this process to happen.
The visa extension will include all family members who were included in the original 485 visa grant.
These criteria however do not apply to most of the current and former 485 visa holders. It is designed for those who have been impacted by the pandemic and have been stuck outside of Australia for a while until the 15th of December last year.
The motivation behind this move is not only the recognition of 485 visa holders and what they contribute to Australia but also now is a time of need in Australia where we have critical staff shortages.
However, what we would like to see is further recognition and gratitude to be extended by the government.
A permanent residency pathway should be provided for 485 visa holders and former 485 visa holders in Australia without the need for points test, skills assessment etc.
All who have worked and helped us during this pandemic period should be recognised and rewarded, not just used and forgotten when no lo longer needed.
Giving visa extensions and encouraging 485 visa holders to come to Australia quickly to assist must not just be a self-serving exercise from the Australian community.
Do the right thing and make it permanent.
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