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New travel arrangements from 15 December 2021

With travel bubbles in place for New Zealand and Singapore, the Australian Government has recently announced travel bubbles with Japan and South Korea, as well as new travel arrangements for eligible visa holders.  

What are the changes?

From 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders may travel to Australia without seeking a travel exemption from Australia's current travel restriction policy.  Eligible visas include the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482), Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417), Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462), Student Visa (Subclass 500), and Training Visa (Subclass 407).

To qualify for the new travel arrangements, these eligible visa holders must prove that they are fully vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised vaccine.  Arrangements are also in place for travellers with acceptable proof they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Further to the above, Australia will fully reopen its borders to Japanese and South Korean passport holders from 15 December 2021.  This is in addition to the travel bubbles that are already in place with New Zealand and Singapore.  This means if a traveller is from a "safe travel zone" country and they are fully vaccinated, then they may be eligible to travel to Australia without seeking a travel exemption and arrive quarantine-free to participating states/territories (currently only NSW, VIC and ACT).  Arriving in Queensland currently means they will be required to complete 14 days of hotel quarantine.

These arrangements may change at any time subject to further COVID-19 updates.

What does this mean for your business?

Australia has long experienced critical skill shortages for a number of skilled occupations.  This announcement means it is a good time to revamp your recruitment strategy and begin sourcing these skilled workers from overseas.

To ensure you can efficiently and effectively adopt this strategy, you may consider applying for your business to become an approved Standard Business Sponsor so that it is in a position to immediately sponsor overseas skilled workers once the candidate passes the interview. 

Our migration team can help you to understand what's involved in this process, and assist you with making any relevant applications.

Written by Corina Chen (Senior Associate) and Leena Lee (Solicitor).

 

"The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication."