Hong Kong residents offered up to 5 years temporary visas and pathway to permanent residence

On 9 July 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia will offer a five-year extension for a range of temporary visa holders from Hong Kong 

The Acting Immigration Minister, Alan Tudge said that Current students will be eligible for a five-year temporary graduate visa on the successful conclusion of their studies with a pathway to permanent residencyTemporary skilled visa holders will be eligible for an additional five years in Australia, also with a pathway to permanent residency. Future applicants for temporary skilled visas will also be eligible for a five-year visa, provided they meet existing criteria. 

Morrison told reporters in Canberra that Australia would offer express pathways to permanent residency after three years for those applicants who study and work in regional areas. Further, it has been announced that priority processing will be given to applicants from Hong Kong applying for Global talent visas and visas in the Business innovation and Investment program. 

In summary, what has been announced are: 

  1. For current and future international students from Hong Kong, there will be a 5 years temporary graduate visa after completion of study (as oppose to 2 years for others), and there will be a pathway to permanent residence at the end.
  2. For currensubclass 485 temporary graduate visa holders from Hong Kong (that is, former international student), there will be an additional 5 years temporary visa from now and there will be a pathway to permanent residence at the end. 
  3. For international student from Hong Kong studying at regional campus, they will be eligible to apply for permanent residence after 3 years. 
  4. For temporary skilled visa holders (such as subclass 457, 482 visas) from Hong Kong who is current in Australia, there will be an additional 5 years temporary visa and a pathway to permanent residence at the end. 
  5. Future temporary skilled visa applicants from Hong Kong that satisfy the normal visa requirements will also be given a 5 years temporary visa with a pathway to permanent residence at the end. 

Whilst further details on the eligibility requirements are yet to be announcedDavid Gu, Solicitor Director and Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, stated it is not possible to predict the exact requirement but said “what is certain is the measures announced today will benefit many skilled Hong Kongers by providing them a significant advantage and greater opportunities of securing permanent residency in Australia in comparison to citizens of another country. 

However, David Gu said “what has been announced today is not the kind of Safe Haven visa that has been talked about in the media recently.” He said “this is really a response and recognition by the Australian Government of the recent increasing desire of many young, skilled and talented Hong Kongers’ wishing to migrate overseas.” It simply provides Australia a perfect opportunity to attract the skilled and talented while similarly responding to a contentious global political issue David said one of the key considerations that would have been in the forefront of the Government’s mind is the announced measure should not in the long-term place burden on the Australian welfare systemIt is really targeted at the young and the brightest. 

We expect that further details on the policy and eligibility criteria to be announced shortly.  

ProActive Legal can assist with any prospective visa applicants.  If you wish to be updated as further information becomes available, please email with your details. 


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