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Australian Visa Changes for 2023-24

With Australia’s new financial year that started on July 1, 2023, you will find significant changes in the country’s immigration system. These changes include a wide range of areas like citizenship, new visa options, student visas, working holiday programs, etc. Read on to know all about it here.


  1. Citizenship Pathway for New Zealanders

New Zealand citizens who are living in Australia for four years or more are eligible for Australian citizenship. You will no longer need a permanent visa. This change applies to New Zealand citizens who fall under a Special Category (subclass 444) visa and who arrived in Australia after 26th February 2001. If you are a long-term resident, you can even have your period of permanent residence backdated.


  1. New Visa for Pacific Migrants

The Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV) is a new visa that has been introduced, offering you 3000 places for eligible immigrants from Pacific countries and Timor Leste. This allocation for this visa will happen through a yearly ballot method and successful applicants will have the prospect to apply for permanent residency in Australia. The application process has been initiated in July.


  1. Changes to Student Visas

The work limitations on student visas, which were loosened under COVID-19 and allowed primary and secondary students with visas to work more than 40 hours every two weeks, have been reinstated. Right from 1st July, these work restrictions will be capped at an increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight. However, overseas students who are working in the aged care sector are exempted from the limit until 31st December 2023.


  1. Extended Stay for temporary graduate visa holders

Right from 1st July 2023, subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visas holders can extend their Australian visit for longer periods. Bachelor degree graduates can have an extension from 2-4 years, Masters degree holders will have 3-5 years and doctoral graduates will have 4-6 years extension.


  1. Changes for working holiday makers

The concession offered for Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) to work for the same company for more than 6 months without permission has been terminated since 1st July. Though this concession was relaxed temporarily in January 2022 to tackle labor deficiencies because of the pandemic, any work done before 1st July will not be taken into account towards the 6-month limitation period. This will allow WHMs to work for an additional 6 months even though their employment started before that date.


  1. Australia-UK Working Holiday Program Changes

As part of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA), changes will be made to the Australia-UK working holiday program. The age limit for the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) for Australians is extended from 30 to 35 and the length of the working holiday is extended from 2-3 years. Similarly, UK citizens who are applying for working holidays in Australia must note that their age limit is extended to 35 w.e.f. 1st July, 2023.


These are the latest changes to Australia’s immigration and visa policies to address different priorities like labor shortage, global relations and opportunities for both Australians and foreigners.


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