Visa extension for Hong Kong citizens – on 9 July 2020, the Prime Minister Office announced new visa arrangements for Hong Kong passport holders to remain in Australia after Hong Kong government introduced new national security laws criminalising dissent and opposition to Chinese (CCP) rule on Hong Kong.
Visa extension for Hong Kong citizens who are currently in Australia, estimated to include 10,000 existing temporary skilled workers, temporary graduates, and students.
Regarding the visa extension for Hong Kong citizens, the Prime Minister’s media statement refers to “Australia has a long history of attracting Hong Kong’s best and brightest who have contributed significantly to our economic growth and job creation, and we are committed to ensuring this is further strengthened. That’s why Australia will introduce new measures for students, temporary graduates and skilled workers from Hong Kong who want to live, work and study in Australia.” This statement implied that the visa extension for Hong Kong citizens is limited to those who received their education in Australia and those who have skills and can make a positive contribution to Australia economy. The visa extension for Hong Kong citizens is not a safe haven or a refugee visa for all Hong Kong citizens. As it stand, the visa extension only allow Hong Kong citizens who studied in Australia or have work skills to remain in Australia until they are eligible for permanent residence visas.
The visa extension for Hong Kong citizens who are in Australia and who are temporary graduates and skilled workers will be offered an additional 5 years of work rights. They will be offered a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period.
The visa extension for Hong Kong citizens who are in Australia on a student visa will be eligible for a 5 year graduate visa (click here to learn more about Temporary Graduate visa) after they completed their studies. They will be offered a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period. This is also applied to future Hong Kong students. Students who study at a regional campus will be able to access a pathway to permanent residency after 3 years.
Those who are currently on Temporary Graduate visa will be eligible for a further 5 years from 9 July 2020.
The visa extension will also be available to future Hong Kong citizens wanting to apply for skilled visas. If successful, they will be granted a 5 year visa (click here to learn more about TSS visa) if they meet the updated skills lists and Labour Market Testing requirements. This also apply to those who qualify through the Global Talent temporary visa scheme, that is, be employed on a salary above the Fair Work High Income Threshold of $153,600 (1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021 rate).
Those who are currently on a temporary skilled visa will be granted a further 5 years from 9 July 2020.
You should note that you will still be required to apply for a permanent visa and you will still need to satisfy all the criteria for the visa grant. If you do not need the visa criteria, you may not be granted the permanent residence visa.
If you do not hold 1 of the above visa class and you believe you may be harmed you returned to Hong Kong, you could apply for a Protection Visa (click here to learn more).
Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you decide if the visa extension for Hong Kong citizens apply to you.
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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.