Free Movement To Expand Between Australia & UK

As part of an upcoming trade agreement, the Australian government are looking to expand free movement with the United Kingdom in the hopes of attracting more British workers Down Under.

Dan Tehan CANZUK
Trade Minister, Dan Tehan, is hopeful of expanding visa provisions under the Australia-UK trade deal (photo: Alex Ellinghausen)
Written by James Skinner
 
James is the Founder & Chief Executive of CANZUK International in Toronto, Canada

                

A new free-trade agreement between Canberra and London, due to be finalised within days, will make it easier for people to live and work in both countries.

However, Australian Trade Minister, Dan Tehan, will seek extra visa changes over the coming months to lure even more Brits to the Australian workforce.

Tehan said that he was aware of labour shortages affecting parts of Europe, and the government’s aim was to avoid similar problems in Australia once state and international border closures were eliminated.

Australia has had little to no migration over the past 18 months, heightening fears that the economy will not have enough workers for key industries.


“We understand as we open up, we’re going to have to be very conscious of the need to provide the skills that we need to drive the reopening and make sure that we rebound as strongly as possible,” Tehan said.

At present, the new free trade deal – which will probably come into force on July 1, 2022 – will increase the working holiday visa age limit from 30 to 35 and give Australians and Britons a total of three years to live and work in each other’s countries.

However, Tehan told London business figures this week that Australia would be “willing to do more” than what the new trade agreement will offer on mobility.

“If we can’t have free exchange and movement of people between ourselves, then who can we have it with?”, he said.

Early indications are pointing to increasing the already negotiated age limit from 35 to 40 (at a minimum) and exploring new visas to attract more farm workers. Tehan also said that it should be as easy – if not easier – for Brits to come to Australia as it is for them to go to Europe.

CANZUK International is delighted with the announcement from Minister Tehan and will continue its lobbying efforts to ensure provisions for free movement between Australia and the UK continue to progress as the two countries’ trade deal is finalised.

         
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