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This Migration Newsflash discusses several recent migration updates:

Final Report of the Inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program

The much-anticipated Final Report of the Inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration was released in August 2021, adopting several recommendations from KPMG. The Final Report makes a total of 18 far-reaching recommendations that, if implemented, would have a significant impact on Australia’s skilled migration program.

What this means for you

  • The recommendations in the Final Report have the potential to influence far-reaching changes within the Australian skilled migration program. We will be reaching out to our clients to discuss the recommendations and their potential impacts. If you are not an existing client, please feel free to contact us to discuss how these changes may impact you, your business, or your employees.

Australians Citizens and Permanent Residents usually resident overseas

From 11 August 2021 Australian citizens and permanent residents usually resident overseas must obtain an outbound travel exemption before departing Australia. Prior to this change, these individuals were automatically exempt from Australia’s outbound travel restrictions.

What this means for you

  • If you or your employee is an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is usually resident overseas but planning to visit Australia, please contact KPMG for further information about the new outbound travel exemption requirements.

Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) Update

In order to travel to Australia, most visa holders must first obtain a Travel Exemption. Travel Exemptions can be granted on numerous grounds, including in circumstances where an individual is being sponsored by their employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the PMSOL. The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs has announced the addition of three occupations to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), bringing the PMSOL to 44 occupations in total.

What this means for you

  • Individuals who were previously unable to obtain a Travel Exemption to enter Australia may now be able to if they are being sponsored by their employer in an occupation on the PMSOL. Where a previous Travel Exemption was rejected, a new Travel Exemption should now be submitted together with a letter of support from the sponsoring employer noting the nominated occupation now falls on the PMSOL.

NSW Skilled Occupation List

The NSW Skilled Occupation List for the Subclass 190 Skilled Nomination visa has been updated, opening pathways to permanent residence for individuals working in several hospitality and ICT occupations.

What this means for you

  • This update is welcome news for individuals in NSW working in these hospitality and ICT occupations who may otherwise have limited pathways to obtaining Australian permanent residence. Please contact KPMG for further guidance or if you would like assistance with an assessment of eligibility under the Subclass 190 Skilled Nomination visa.

Fast-Tracking for Hong Kong Passport Holders

With effect from 7 July 2021, priority processing will be given to Hong Kong and British National (Overseas) (BNO) passport holders applying for temporary and permanent skilled visas. This echoes statements made in 2020 that the Federal Government would make it easier for individuals holding a Hong Kong passport to either remain in Australia or obtain a visa to travel to Australia.

What this means for you

  • If this update applies to you or an employee, please contact KPMG for further information.