August at Nomos
Though NSW and many other places have been in lockdown all month, plenty has been happening! Here’s just a few major highlights of the month:
- The Joint Standing Committee on Migration released its Final Report of the Inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program. The report acknowledged the departure of over 500,000 temporary migrants from Australia as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting ‘lack of skilled migrants coupled with record low unemployment has led to major skill shortages in many sectors of the Australian economy’. The Report lists 18 recommendations, including the consolidation of the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List and the Short Term Skilled Occupation List, changes to allow short-term TSS (subclass 482) visa holders to access a pathway to permanent residence and labour market testing exemptions where a subclass 457 or TSS visa holder has been employed in the relevant position on a full-time basis for 12 months. Many of the recommendations are very practical and will assist with Australia’s post-pandemic recovery, but they are only recommendations at this stage. Whether there is any resulting legislative change is yet to be seen.
- Like many of you, we have been watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan. We have been contacted by many Afghan Australians who have family trying to leave Afghanistan and who are uncertain about their own futures. If you do need assistance, please get in touch. Our colleagues at the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre have also been working hard to support the community and are prioritising assistance for people with immediate family (partners, children under 18 and other close family members) in Afghanistan. They have also produced a number of helpful resources for those wanting more information, which can be accessed here.
- Last month, many of our clients were relieved to see that individual travel exemptions can now be granted to Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holders where the subclass 300 visa has been granted and the visa application was lodged at least 12 months before submitting a travel exemption request. This was welcome relief for many couples who are now able to reunite. In other travel exemption news, the transitional period that applies to Australian citizens and permanent residents who are ordinarily resident outside Australia ends on 7 September, meaning that these Australians will no longer be able to rely on an automatic exemption to leave Australia. In exceptional circumstances, the ABF may grant an exemption to these Australian citizens or permanent residents wishing to leave Australia if they can demonstrate that they have a compelling reason for needing to leave Australia. If you or someone you know needs assistance with a travel exemption, please get in touch.
That’s the Nomos wrap-up for August. See you next month!