Australia – Updates On Special Relationships And Employer Concessions -23rd July, 2019

Australia – Updates On Special Relationships And Employer Concessions
There are recent reports regarding the Australian immigration with countries having close ties to it. The focus is on New Zealand and the United Kingdom where the New Zealand PM has expressed concerns regarding its citizens who were concerned with the cancellation of their Australian visas. The UK is seeking concessions regarding Australian visas in negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement. Australia has a special relationship with both these countries.

Special Category Visa For New Zealand And Visa Cancellations

NZ PM has discussed the deportation of NZ citizens from Australia owing to their failure in the character test.  This test has several elements and the principal reason for the most cancellations is that the visa holder possesses a large criminal record. in December 2014, laws were passed, seeking the visas cancellation, when any person in Australia, who holds a permanent or temporary visa, is served a conviction in an offence while staying in Australia with an imprisonment of 12 months or of the higher duration.

This law made the character test strong and substantial, and as a result the visas of many persons were cancelled. There will be additional strengthening of this test in the future. Moreover, the New Zealand citizens had faced many cancellations.


NZ PM Ardern has held discussions with Scott Morrison, who was the minister dealing with the immigration, when the legislation was amended. Some New Zealanders, are not directly connected to NZ, but have spent a major part of their life in Australia. There is a special relationship between New Zealand and Australia and the regulation are in force since 2001.

NZ citizens can avail a Subclass 444 - Special Category visa which has no application charge and the seeker must not have a behavior or health issue. It is an indefinite visa with no conditions attached to it.  Its feature is that it is not permanent in nature.


NZ citizens are considered protected SCV holders as per the Social Security Act 1991(Cth). It is obvious that citizens of NZ have borne many of the cancellations for the reasons that include:

Many NZ citizens reach Australia in comparison to other nationalities. Additionally they can access the temporary visa and have few requirements and conditions;

To benefit the people there was the addition of a New Zealand stream to the Subclass 189 – Independent – Skilled visa; and

On gaining Australian citizenship, their visa is not liable for cancellation, but the non-citizens, have to spend more time holding the visa.  The longer someone holds this visa, the more is a chance of visa cancellation.

Also there is a perception that NZ citizens are at a disadvantage in the matter of character based cancellations. What is clear is that NZ enjoys a special relationship with Australia and there is a special visa for the citizens.

Australia-UK negotiations and concessions in employer sponsored visa

Additionally there is a special relationship between the Australia and the UK. Australia is a former colony but there is no special status to the UK nationals. In the past there was a discussion on immigration to the UK in the Parliament and also on easy regulations for former dominions. There was no progress, in these negotiations.

In the Australian immigration, the UK urges for:

1.  Better visa pathways for migration of temporary workers and professionals to conduct business,

2.  Reduction in the visa fees,

3.  Reduction in experience thresholds to serve as a base in intra-corporate transfers, and

4.  Extension of the skilled occupations visa eligibility list in Australia

This is seen as a request to the Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa and the permanent Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa and Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa before abolition in November 2019 and replacement by the 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Provisional visa.


Australia is deliberating regarding incorporating these arrangements, and concessions in the existing 482 visa regulations. The future will decide the fate.

We bring the details of all such developments and our patrons can get in touch with us in this matter.

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