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Australia | Extended Grace Period for Job Changes
Monday, July 8, 2024

The Australian government extended the grace period for job transitions for holders of certain skill visas.

Key Points:

  • As BAL previously reported, the Australian government released a migration strategy outlining key actions and new policy commitments to overhaul the current migration system. Officials are updating visa conditions aimed at protecting workers and boosting economic productivity as part of that strategy.
  • Visa conditions (8107, 8607 and 8608) have been updated within the following skilled visa categories: temporary work (skilled) visa (subclass 457), temporary skill shortage visa (subclass 482) and skilled employer sponsored regional (provisional) visa (subclass 494).
  • Beginning July 1, visa holders in these categories who leave their sponsoring employer may now take up to 180 days consecutively or a total of 365 days over their visa period to find new sponsorship, apply for a different visa or arrange to leave the country.
  • The new grace period is up from 60 consecutive days. Individuals were previously prohibited from working for other employers until a new nomination was approved with a new sponsor.
  • The new policy now allows visa holders to seek employment with other employers, including in different job categories than their current sponsorship.
  • The updated grace period applies to current visa holders and those who receive visas on or after July 1. Periods when visa holders are not employed by their sponsor before July 1 will not count toward the newly introduced time limits.

Additional Information: The extended grace period does not alter current sponsor responsibilities for reporting employment changes. Sponsoring employers still have to notify the Department of Home Affairs of any changes in their sponsored workers’ employment status, such as ending sponsorship or resigning, within 28 days from the date of any change. Licensing compliance and registration requirements specific to certain occupations have not been changed, and visa holders must continue to adhere to mandatory licenses, registrations or memberships.

BAL Analysis: Visa holders and sponsors should plan job transitions accordingly within the updated timeframes and ensure they are compliant with the new visa conditions. The government aims to provide foreign employees more flexibility and support during job changes and increase competitiveness for skilled labor.

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