Hong Kong: Special Visa Arrangements Announced

Following the new national security laws being imposed, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge have announced several special visa arrangements for those from Hong Kong.

Soon, students and temporary skilled visa holders from Hong Kong will have their Australian visas extended by 5 years, with pathways to permanent residency. This applies not only to current visa holders, but also eligible future visa holders. This move is expected to benefit almost 10,000 Hong Kong migrants already in Australia, and a further 4,000 currently offshore.

Here is an easy-to-read summary of everything you need to know so far:

Students & Graduates from Hong Kong:

  • Current and future students will be eligible for an extended 5-year temporary graduate visa (usually 18 months - 2 years) upon successful completion of their studies

  • There will be pathways to permanent residency for these students after these 5 years

  • Former students currently on the 485 temporary graduate visa (aka TR visa) will also be eligible for an extension of 5 years from today, 9 July 2020 (this is on top of the time already spent in Australia on this visa) and the PR pathway

  • Students studying at a regional campus will still be able to access the pathway to PR after 3 years (for example, via the 491 visa)

Temporary Skilled Visa Holders (482 TSS) from Hong Kong:

  • Current temporary skilled visa holders will be eligible for a visa-extension of 5 years from today, 9 July 2020 (this is on top of the time already spent in Australia)

  • There will be pathways to permanent residency for these visa holders after these 5 years

  • Future Hong Kong temporary skilled visa applicants will be eligible for a five year visa and pathways to permanent residency, as long as they: 1) meet occupational requirements and Labour Market Testing requirements; or 2) qualify through the Global Talent temporary visa scheme^

^ This visa is a temporary visa for exceptional talent with a minimum salary of 153,600.

Exceptional Talent & Businesses

There will also be more support and staff to attract exceptional talent from Hong Kong through the existing Global Talent and Business Innovation and Investment programs. New incentives will also be introduced to attract export-oriented businesses with head offices based out of Hong Kong.

When these arrangements will start?

How will the visa extensions be given out?

How exactly will the permanent pathways work?

Unfortunately, we don't know the answers to these questions yet as further details and legislation have not yet been announced.

Rest assured that our expert team of migration agents and former-Immigration officers will be closely monitoring this situation, and will provide more insight and suggestions as soon as the details have been announced. Follow our Facebook page to stay updated in the meanwhile.

Have questions or concerns? Not sure how these changes would apply to you?

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Source: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/hong-kong

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