Visas for Overseas Skilled Workers, Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement, the Budget & More

So far for 2021 the Australian government continues to support and attract global talent and business growth. We have seen a number of initiatives and proposals to bring global talent and overseas business to Australia as a way to benefit Australian business and boost economic performance. Some highlights:


Federal Budget 2021-2022

Skilled visas are still being given priority with 50% of the Migration Program 2020-2021 being dedicated to employer sponsored visas, highly skilled migrants, Global Talent and Business Innovation and Investor visas.

Industries and visa applicants in the following sectors are likely to benefit:

  • Medical and aged care
  • Engineering and mining
  • ICT and telecommunications
  • Agriculture and veterinarians


Free Trade Agreement – United Kingdom

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is currently exploring the potential opportunities and impact of a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United Kingdom.

EPG Migration will be lodging a submission to DFAT in support of the proposal, addressing:

  • Labour Market Testing waivers for UK passport holders
  • Travel concessions for skilled talent to move from UK to Australia more easily
  • Easier access to Permanent Residence for UK visa holder

Invitation to comment
We welcome your input for our submission. If you would like to contribute, contact us and provide feedback in relation to the benefits and potential opportunities for your business no later than Friday 21 May 2021.


Supplementing your workforce with global talent

Despite our borders being closed, travel for some visa holders is still possible. Visa applications for highly skilled workers continue to be approved for short-term or ongoing temporary work assignments.
Travel waivers for temporary visa holders are assessed on a case-by-case basis and we are seeing approvals where there is a strong business case.

The current Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List includes the following occupations:

  • Software Engineers & Developer Programmers
  • Veterinarians
  • Chief Executive or Managing Directors
  • Construction Project Managers
  • Medical Practitioners, Midwives & Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Maintenance Planners

Visa applications for skilled workers in the above occupations are being processed in record time.

Subclass 482 Nomination Transfers: 24-48 hours
Subclass 482 Visas (Decision Ready): 24-48 hours
Subclass 186 Visas (Decision Ready): up to 5 working days


Hospitality and Tourism

DFAT has eased temporary visa conditions for people working in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Students visa holders in these sectors are now permitted to work full-time without being in breach of their visa conditions.

In addition, people working in these industries are now able to obtain the Sub 408 COVID-19 Visa with a duration of 12 months.