BREAKING NEWS: Hong Kong Passport Holders to Get 5 years Extension on Australian Visas due to Suspension of Extradition Agreements amid China Crackdown
July might be a surprising month for many migrants in Australia. Starting with the unpredictable pandemic situation, some changes to visa regulations, and any other things that bring concerns to our individual. Most of the migrants must be worried about their prospects while in Australia. This week, the Australian government had good news for Hong Kong passport holders. Are you a Hong Kong citizen? Are you holding an Australian temporary visa? Do you wish to extend your visa or probably obtain Permanent Residency? This article would be helpful for you.
Australia suspended extradition agreement with Hong Kong
As a Hong Kong citizen, you must be familiar with the current situation in Hong Kong, including its relationship with China. Many protests and demonstrations happen in Hong Kong in regards to China’s crackdown on human rights and freedom. China has imposed its national security law on Hong Kong, which aims to get rid of the opposition of the Communist Party. Australia is one of the countries who put a significant objection regarding the laws imposed by China. As a result, due to political reasons, Australia takes action to suspend the extradition agreement with Hong Kong. Now, you must be wondering, what is the impact of this suspension? Is it a good sign for you as a migrant in Australia?
Hong Kong citizen will be given 5 years visa to remain in Australia
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced that Australia will be offering the opportunity to apply for a 5 year-visa extension for Hong Kong citizens, who are mainly students and skilled visa holders. It also does not rule out the possibility for Hong Kongers to obtain their Permanent Residency in Australia while they are holding a temporary visa. As you may know, Australia has its enchantment to attract people from around the world to move here. As for Hong Kong citizens, there are thousands of them holding Australian temporary visas. With the new regulation in place, Hong Kongers will be given the chance to remain and extend their visa for a period of 5 years. The Australian government will adjust its policy to enable Hong Kong citizens to be granted the 5-years’ visa extension, in which will be an easier pathway to permanent residency at the end of the 5-year extension.
There are 8,200 people currently holding student visas onshore and 2,300 are offshore. For the temporary skilled visa, there are 570 people onshore and 100 are offshore. Furthermore, there are 900 onshore applicants and 130 offshore applicants for the temporary graduate visa. If we take all into consideration, it’s quite a number of Hong Kongers who live in Australia or intend to move to Australia.
For student visa holders, they will be eligible to stay for 5 years after their graduation with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of the 5 year period. Temporary Graduate and Skilled Worker who holds a Hong Kong passport will be able to get an additional 5 years of work rights. Future applicants will be given a 5-year visa based on the skilled occupation list and meeting the Labour Testing Market requirements. All other Hong Kongers on temporary visas are likely to have their visas extended by five years as well, again with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of the five years. Humanitarian visas will still be available; however, there will not be a specific stream for Hong Kong citizens. Up to this date, it is still unclear about the requirements that Hong Kong citizens need to meet. Those who already have an Australian visa but are outside the country will also be eligible for the proposed extension.
The Australian government believes the new arrangements will boost the Australia’s economy, and will attract more Hong Kong business owners to move to Australia. Visa applicants from Hong Kong who are interested in Australia’s talents and business development will receive priorities.
There is still much unclear information about what will be done in the future. We are still waiting for updates in the upcoming weeks regarding the process. With the new regulation, it seems easier to obtain Permanent Residency for Hong Kong citizens though not definite as all applications would still be assessed and will not be granted if one fails the character or national security test.
We understand that applying for a visa to Australia is certainly very complex. We at ONE derland Consulting will help you to understand what you have to do and also advise you the options based on your circumstances. ONE derland Consulting will take time and compile all documents needed and making sure your application is decision ready before submitting, in hope for a positive outcome for your visa application.
I have one-decade of experience dealing with many different types of visas. As a registered Australian migration agent with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), we are regulated in our professional practice and bound by the Code of Conduct. Click here to access the copy.