April 7, 2022

Australia and the UK Sign Historic Free Trade Agreement on Immigration

The Australia/ UK Free Trade Agreement (AUKFTA) will lead to many benefits for both countries not only with regard to businesses being able to trade more freely, but also in terms of the provisions to enable the movement of people between the two countries. Some benefits for UK passport holders include being able to obtain sponsorship from businesses in Australia without the need for labor market tests or being subject to skills occupation lists, accompanying dependants can work for up to 4 years, and more flexibility will be given to the eligibility requirements for working holiday applicants.

As reported by our registered immigration partners in Australia, the Australian British Chamber of Commerce has compiled a review of the FTA highlighting the following expected beneficial changes to the Australian migration program for UK passport holders:

    • Australian businesses can sponsor visas without labor market testing requirements being met
    • The sponsoring business will not be subject to the skilled occupation list
    • Accompanying spouses & children can work up to 4 years
    • Guaranteed access for managers and specialists across all sectors for 3-year transfers
    • Business visitors will be able to visit Australia for 3-months in any 6-month period
    • Working Holiday age limit raised from 30 years of age to 35 years
    • Working Holiday visas will be extended from the current 1 year to 3-year duration
    • The current requirement for working holiday makers to work in the agricultural sector to obtain another working holiday visa will be removed within 2 years
    • Joint declaration on Agriculture and Agri- Business, detailing visa pathways in both the UK and Australia
    • Pilot early innovation & careers skills exchange up to one year - for UK graduates to Australia between 21 and 45 years; and for highly experienced specialists focused on innovation

Furthermore, reciprocal agreements will be made for the entry of professional personnel including a 3-year Intra-company transfer (1 year for graduates) and support put in place to recognize professional qualifications between accreditation and regulatory bodies.

The FTA is yet to be signed and ratified by both Governments, however once done, this will be good news for Australian businesses hoping to sponsor UK passport holders.

For further information on immigration in Australia and the U.K., please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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