In this past week, two Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) have been successfully passed through Australia’s Federal Parliament. Before each comes into effect for both visa applicants and businesses to reap the benefits, each country to the agreement must first ratify the FTA through their own legislative systems before the agreements can come into operation.
This is exciting news for United Kingdom and India passport-holders who can look forward to both more tailored visa options, and relaxed requirements for other visas like the TSS (subclass 482).
Australia and India
The first agreement is the new FTA between India and Australia titled the Australia – India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AIECTA). This agreement will commence 29 December 2022, but not until both Australia and India complete each country’s domestic arrangements (as mentioned above) to move the agreement into operation.
As the AIECTA is an international trade obligation for Australia, India will also be added to the list of countries who are exempt from specified labour market testing requirements for certain occupations in relation to the TSS (subclass 482) visa. However, these flexible arrangements cannot be accessed until the relevant legislative instruments have been updated accordingly.
Once AIECTA is into operation, Australia has agreed to provide one thousand subclass 462 (first) Work and Holiday Program visas for Indian nationals aged between 18 to 31 years old. This amount of subclass 462 visas dedicated to Indian nationals within this age group will remain at one thousand each year.
Australia has also agreed to providing Indian students who graduate with First Class Honours bachelor degrees in STEM fields (including ICT) the ability to be eligible for an additional year on post-study (subclass 485) visas, allowing these students to remain in Australia on this visa type for three years total.
Australia and the United Kingdom
This agreement is titled the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (AUKFTA) and presents similar benefits for United Kingdom passport-holders.
UK nationals who would like to apply for a work visa that holds labour market testing requirements like the TSS (subclass 482) will also enjoy the same flexibility as outlined above. This will streamline the visa application preparation and processing. The AUKFTA will also remove the regional work component for UK nationals and increases the eligible age to 35 years in relation to subclass 417 visas.
As with AIECTA, United Kingdom and Australia must first implement domestic arrangements to move the agreement into operation. The commencement of operation for this FTA is yet to be announced and we will update you once it is publicised.
If you have any questions about any type of visas please feel free to contact our migration lawyers.