R&CA MEDIA RELEASE: Pathway to make permanent residency easier a win for Australia's hospitality sector

R&CA has welcomed changes announced today by the Morrison Government that will make it easier for eligible skilled migrants to remain in Australia and for them to attain permanent residency. 

This announcement comes as a saving grace for the industry, especially with the skill shortage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, by encouraging foreign workers in Australia to stay. 

Making it easier for Existing Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa holders and Legacy Temporary Work Skilled (subclass 457) visa holders to become permanent residents, which account for the majority of hospitality visa holders, will mean that there is a greater incentive for skilled staff to remain in the country. 

Additionally, the extension for skilled regional (provisional visa) holders (subclass 489, 491 and 494) will benefit regional Australia. 

During the pandemic period, many chefs who have come from overseas and who have long lasting relationships with their employers, were faced with deep uncertainty as to whether they can stay in Australia due to barriers to achieve permanent residency. 

“Anxiety around visas and permanent residency requirements have been one of the biggest issues facing skilled hospitality workers who have arrived from overseas. These changes bring not only certainty to those who want to call Australia home and contribute to this country, but also to venue operators who have been absolutely smashed by staff shortages,” said Wes Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant & Catering Australia. 

“There are over 100,000 job vacancies in hospitality across Australia. While locals are part of the employment mix, skilled migrants from overseas certainly have a big part to play. Without them, many of our favourite restaurants and cafes would never open their doors again”, Mr Lambert said. 

“With this new path to permanent residency now available, the Australian hospitality sector will now have a chance to come back roaring”, he said. 

R&CA will continue to advocate for ways to solve the current staff shortage in the Australian hospitality industry.