In an effort to strengthen relations with Hong Kong and boost productivity and job opportunities, Australia will be implementing new measures for students, temporary graduates and skilled workers from Hong Kong who want to live, work and study in Australia. These visa measures will provide Hong Kong passport holders with more opportunities to remain in Australia, with pathways to permanent residency, as well as attract talent and companies from Hong Kong in order to increase job opportunities.
New and Extended Visa Options for Hong Kong Citizens
The special visa arrangements are as follows:
- Current and future students from Hong Kong will be eligible for a five year temporary graduate visa on completion of studies, with a pathway to permanent residency after five years.
- Former students already on a temporary graduate visa will be eligible for an extension of five years from today in addition to the time they’ve already been in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.
- Students who study at a regional campus will continue to be able to access a pathway to permanent residency after three years.
For Temporary skilled visa holders
- Current temporary skilled visa holders from Hong Kong will be eligible for an extension of five years on their temporary skilled visa from today in addition to the time they’ve already been in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.
- Future applicants for temporary skilled visas will be eligible for a five year visa, with a pathway to permanent residency after five years, on the conditions that they meet occupational skills lists and Labour Market Testing requirements or qualify for the Global Talent temporary visa scheme, where the sponsoring employer pays above $153,600 (the Fair Work High Income Threshold).
There are almost 10,000 existing temporary skilled, temporary graduate and student visa holders in Australia, an additional 2,500 outside Australia and 1,250 applications on hand who will be eligible for these special arrangements.
Global Talent and Business Innovation and Investment Programs
- These programs target migrants with a history of success or talent in innovation, investment and business who are able to make a significant contribution to the national innovation system and the Australian economy, with focus on three main niches: investors, business owners and entrepreneurs.
- The Australian Government has bolstered efforts to attract exceptional talent from Hong Kong through these programs, both programs being part of the permanent migration program.
- These programs will be prioritised, with a dedicated Global Talent officer focusing on facilitating the Hong Kong caseload.
- In addition, Australia will be reopening their visa application centre in Hong Kong (which was closed due to COVID-19) in order to better facilitate future applications.
- New incentives will be developed to attract export-oriented Hong Kong based businesses to relocate to Australia.
- There will be economic incentives and permanent visa pathways available for all critical Hong Kong based staff of the relocated business.
- The government will prioritise businesses that presently operate their regional headquarters from Hong Kong who may be looking to relocate to a democratic country.