Australia is going to offer a path to Australian Permanent Residency for thousands of Hong Kong citizens. The prime minister of Australia announced that Australia would make changes to its immigration policy. Australia will allow students, professionals, and graduate visa holder to extend their visas by five years. However, candidates will get a different pathway for Permanent Residence at the end of those five years.
It means if you are a current or future student of Australia, you will be able to stay for a total of five years. You will need to spend five years once you have graduated with a pathway to Australian Permanent Residency at the end of that period.
In case you are holding a temporary visa, your visa will get an extension for an additional five years from today. In addition to the time, you have already been to Australia with a pathway to get PR at the end of that period.
How does it work?
The arrangements are a little different. It will be dependent on which visa you currently hold. However, no change in legislation has been officially provided. The Immigration Minister of Australia announced that:
- Skilled workers (subclass 482) and Temporary graduates (subclass 485) will get an additional five-year work right in Australia.
- Students (subclass 500) will be eligible to get an extension for a five-year graduate visa from their studies’ conclusion.
- Hong Kong applicants for temporary skilled visas will get a five-year visa.
- The current arrangement will continue to apply for those applicants who work and study in regional areas. They will get a pathway to permanent residency after three years.
When Will it Come into Effect?
The prime minister announced these changes on July 9th. However, according to the prime minister, these changes will come into effect on the day of the announcement. Moreover, no official legislation or policy has been introduced by the government. The government will introduce the new legislation sometime within the next few months.
Currently, there are approximately 10000 Hong Kong citizens living in Australia. However, 8200 of them are students, and 900 are temporary graduate visa holders. 570 temporary skilled visa holders are living in Australia. Moreover, 2000 people have received visa approvals, but they are still overseas. All of these residents are eligible for the five-year extension.
Who Has not Been Announced as Eligible?
The immigration department did not say that Hong Kong citizens on working holidays or tourists are eligible. However, Hong Kong Citizens are eligible to apply for asylum under humanitarian streams if they face oppression.
The prime minister announced that current and future students from Hong Kong would be eligible for a five-year temporary graduate visa. However, they will get an extension of the successful conclusion of their studies. They will offer a pathway for Australian PR.