According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Australian government plans to reopen its international border as soon as next month. Mr. Morrison told Sunrise host Natalie Barr that NSW is just weeks away from welcoming back overseas workers.
Students, exceptionally skilled migrants, will see this happening in NSW next month, he said. Mr. Morrison provided less clarity for the tens of thousands of backpackers who supplement workforces in multiple industries, including hospitality, agriculture, and construction.
"On international visitors, well, we'll see how Australians coming back first goes there," Mr. Morrison stated.
To acquire employment in the country, most of these workers rely on working holiday visas. Applicants for working holiday visas will be permitted to return when the National Plan's Phase D has been completed, but the timing of this action isn't precise.
Mr. Morrison earlier this month prompted former NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet to open the border for all vaccinated people overseas from November 1. He also clarified later that the primary focus should be on overseas Australians once the border reopens without quarantine requirements. Only the parents of citizens and permanent residents will be added, he explained.
Morrison said he expects Victoria to follow the example of NSW in opening up its borders. This week, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) called for a significant expansion of the skilled migration program, allowing up to 200,000 overseas workers to replace workers lost during the pandemic.
According to ACCI's CEO Andrew McKellar, the ACCI needs to enhance the accessibility and efficiency of the migration system to increase the intake of skilled migrants and international students.
Even though Mr. Perrottet is eager to see migrants arrive in the country and get things back to where they were pre-pandemic, Mr. McKellar predicts that it will take 12 months for the same number of temporary skilled workers to start arriving in the country.
Additionally, the situation has been accompanied by a wave of disagreement from temporary visa holders that were not included in the plans drafted by the Government of Australia when it came to reopening the international borders for those currently in Australia once 80 percent of its population is vaccinated.
At present, only citizens and permanent residents of Australia who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to re-enter and exit the country. In contrast, temporary visa holders still need the exemption.