Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re probably aware of the political situation currently happening in Hong Kong. While we won’t go into details about the specifics (as political talk often opens up a can of worms), we will uncover the visa options the Morrison Government has offered to Hong Kong residents intending on making the big move over or current residents wanting to remain in Australia.

Australia introduces new pathways for Hong Kong residents wanting to live, work and study in Australia.

In a media release announced on the 9th July this year, the Australian Government provided an insight on special visa arrangements potentially allowing Hong Kong passport holders to remain in or relocate to Australia with an option of applying for permanent residency.

With the aim of attracting talent, Australia has proposed visa options appealing to almost 14,000 existing and potential students, temporary graduates and skilled visa holders. In addition to this, the Government will also focus on encouraging the relocation of international companies over to Australia. This will not only provide a much needed injection of capital into our economy but also significant growth and employment opportunities for our country.

Although the Government has yet to set an exact date of when reforms will actually happen, here’s a summary of what’s set to take place:

For Students (both current and future):

  • A temporary graduate visa with a five-year stay period and a potential pathway to permanent residency after five years.
  • A further extension of five years for current temporary graduate visa holders and a pathway for permanent residency.
  • Students currently studying at a regional campus will be able to apply for permanent residency after three years.

Temporary Skilled Visa Holders

  • For prospective visa holders, a temporary skilled visa option with a visa validity of five years (and an option for permanent residency) will be made available for Hong Kong residents who:
  • Have an occupation on the skills list and meet labour marketing testing requirements or qualify for the Global Talent temporary visa option.
  • For current skilled visa holders, an extension of up to five years (on top of the time they’ve already spent in Australia) will be available with a further pathway to permanent residency after that.

Australia as an international business hub

Recognizing potential growth opportunities associated with foreign investment (particularly a much-needed boost to our employment markets), new incentives are being devised to attract export-based international companies presently headquartered in Hong Kong to make the big move to Australia. With permanent visa options available to relocated staff members, the Government is also in the midst of putting together economic incentives to further encourage foreign investment into Australia.

So when will special arrangements come into play?

We anticipate that changes will start trickling in once the borders reopen and life as we know it, starts returning back to normal. However, there’s never a better time to get started on your planning than now. As many of you should know, the visa process is never an easy feat and finding the right pathway to suit your personal circumstances requires a substantial degree of strategizing and brainstorming. If you’d like to find out more about your options and assess your chances, get in contact with our office. We have Agents experienced across all aspects of visa subclasses and who are fluent in Chinese, Mandarin and Cantonese.

In the meantime, make sure you check back in with our team and follow our page. We will endeavour to keep you updated every step of the way. ​

Seeking accurate and complete visa advice? Get in touch with us.