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Trade Agreements Result In New Visa Benefits For UK And Indian Passport Holders

UK and Indian passport holders are set to benefit from new visa and mobility arrangements that have been recently negotiated in Australia’s Trade Agreements.  The Australia – UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) came into effect on 31 May 2023 and will soon allow UK passport holders up to the age of 35 to come to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa and extend their stay for a maximum of three years without having to meet ‘specified work’ requirements.

Written by Sheila Woods (MARN: 0533879) of Interstaff  15 June, 2023

Employers of UK nationals on a 482 TSS Visa will also not need to undertake Labour Market Testing (LMT) or local advertising for the position before they nominate the visa holder. 

Similarly, the Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement has recently been signed to allow young Indians to come to Australia under the Working Holiday Maker program or access a longer stay after studying in Australia.

The new arrangement is part of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), which came into force on 29 December 2022.

Here’s what you should know about the Australia’s recent Trade Agreements and how they impact visa and mobility arrangements for UK and Indian passport holders.

The Australia – UK Free Trade Agreement | Benefits for UK Passport Holders

From 1 July 2023:

  • UK passport holders between 18 and 35 years old can apply for a Subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa – a five-year increase from the 30-year-old age limit.

From 1 July 2024:

  • UK passport holders can be granted up to three separate Subclass 417 Working Holiday Visas, providing a maximum stay in Australia of three years instead of two (12 months per visa)
  • ‘Specified work’ requirements will not need to be met to be eligible for a second or third Working Holiday Visa.

The removal of ‘specified work’ requirements will allow UK passport holders to apply for a longer stay on a Working Holiday Visa without having to work a minimum period in specific industries and areas of Australia – such as agriculture, mining and construction work in regional Australia.

Aside from the new age requirement and removal of ‘specified work’, UK passport holders will need to meet all other requirements for the Subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa – read more about this visa here.

The above changes will apply to new applicants and current Working Holiday Visa holders with a UK passport.

What else should businesses and UK passport holders know? | Australia – UK Free Trade Agreement

The Government is updating its legislative instruments to include an International Trade Obligation exemption for Labour Market Testing (LMT) for UK passport holders for sponsored work visas,

This will mean businesses employing UK passport holders on a 482 TSS Visa will not not need to undertake LMT – a process which usually requires employers to advertise locally for a position for at least four weeks.

In addition, the maximum three-year stay on the Working Holiday program does not have to be taken consecutively. It is possible to apply for three separate Working Holiday Visas whenever it suits the visa holder until they meet the age limit.

The Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement | Benefits for Indian passport holders

The Arrangement provides Indian passport holders:

  • Access to the Work and Holiday Maker Visa program, with 1000 places available per year to young Indians – read more about this program here
  • Longer stay periods available as part of the Post-Study Work Visa program

The Post-Study Work Visa program will provide Indian passport holders specific periods of post-study stay depending on the type of study they had undertaken in Australia:

  • Diploma or trade qualification: Up to 18 months
  • Bachelor Degree: Up to 2 years
  • Master degree: Up to 3 years
  • Doctoral Degree: Up to 4 years

A stay of an additional year is also available for high-performing STEM Bachelor’s Degree graduates (extended from two to three years).

What else should businesses and Indian passport holders know?

Businesses will still need to undertake Labour Market Testing (LMT) for Indian passport holders, as the Arrangement does not include an exemption.

Australia and India are also negotiating mutual recognition or similar arrangements for qualifications, licensing, and registration procedures. This will make it easier for Indian passport holders to have their education recognised by Australian standards.

Interstaff assist people all over the world with the legal and professional process to travel or migrate to Australia for temporary work or permanent residence. Established in 1988, Interstaff has been trusted by migrating individuals and businesses for over 30 years and are the strongest group of experts for visa work in Australia. MARN: 0533879..