Visa Crunch

Loyal International Students Could Get Rewarded With Simpler PR Pathways In Australia

After a very long halt, Australia finally reopened its borders to fully-vaccinated international students whose study abroad ambitions had been stalled for far too long.

The year 2022 seems even better, as Ben Watt, a VisaEnvoy migration lawyer, predicts that Australia would focus on providing Australian PR options for international students who have remained loyal to Australia after two years of uncertainty. Australia plans to invite 160,000 immigrants in this new year.

Currently, 79,600 spots will be allocated for professionals in the Skill stream, who together will play a significant role in boosting Australia’s economy, overall productivity, and skill shortages in the labour market, especially those in regional Australia. The Family stream, which allows Australians to reunite with abroad family members seeking citizenship, will receive 77,300 slots.

The First Step

For international students who never dropped out of their dream Australian university, transferred to another country, or just gave up, the road has always been smooth.

In Australia, long before institutional changes, their journeys could always extend beyond academics. Many students transferred from their study visa to the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa after successfully completing a program at an Australian university. After graduating, they will be able to live, study, and work in Australia on a temporary basis under this visa. They can even bring immediate family members with them.

2022 May Bring PR Pathways For Temporary Graduate Visa Holders

International students who graduate from Australian Universities can look forward to improved post-study employment opportunities. The government announced in November 2021 that existing or former holders of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa who were stuck offshore owing to the COVID-19 restrictions will be permitted to apply for a replacement visa of the same period beginning July 1, 2022.

Australia is also planning to raise the period of stay on the Temporary Graduate visa for Masters by Coursework graduates from two to three years, reflecting the conditions for Masters by Research graduates. Graduates from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector will also be eligible for a two-year Temporary Graduate visa. Those in the Graduate Work stream will be allowed to stay in the nation for an additional 18 to 24 months.

“It’s a very humane concession, and it means a lot of talent that was here, we have a chance of getting them back,” says Watt.

“There’s an enormous multiplication of different changes and scenarios, and who applies for what and who can get what. But it’s very likely if there is another border closure as well, this will be the first thing to go.”

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