Migration Update For Employers: Australia's Borders Finally Reopening

On 7 February 2022, the Prime Minister announced that Australia’s international borders will reopen to all fully vaccinated visa holders from 21 February 2022 to secure its economic recovery. This includes tourists, business travellers and those with a subclass 020, Bridging Visa B. However, visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to obtain a valid travel exemption to enter the country and comply with state and territory quarantine requirements.

Although most of the country is reopening on 21 February 2022, Western Australia does not currently have plans to ease its hard borders entirely. We note that Western Australia has recently doubled its international arrivals cap to 530 travellers per week.

Changes to pre-departure testing

The Australian Government has recently announced changes to pre-departure testing requirements for international arrivals to Australia. In addition to a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or NAAT test taken within 3 days of the scheduled departure to Australia, a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours of scheduled departure is now an acceptable indicator.

Further, for travellers who contract COVID-19 overseas, there should be at least 7 days since there was a first positive result of an accepted COVID-19 test.

Travellers should ensure they regularly check pre-departure testing and requirements such as proof of vaccination for the relevant airline and any countries they transit through to Australia, as they may change.

Global processing times – February 2022

Subclass 482, Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

  • Short-term stream: 36 days to 12 months
  • Medium-term stream: 26 days to 8 months
  • Nomination: 0 days to 10 months

Subclass 494, Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa

  • Employer sponsored stream: 37 days to 5 months

Priority processing will continue to be given to employer sponsored nomination and visa applications with an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). 

For global processing times for all visas and the breakdown of processing times of applications finalised in the period (25, 50, 75 and 90 percent), see here
If you would like assistance with standard business sponsorship, employer sponsored visas, and COVID-19 restrictions on global mobility and migration, please do not hesitate to contact Anna Lee.

Disclaimer – the information contained in this publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice in relation to any particular matter you may have before relying or acting on this information. The Lavan team are here to assist.