Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) – a migration pathway to Australia

Employment Law and Industrial Relations


On 31 May 2023, A-UKFTA, being famously dubbed as the gold standard trade agreement came into effect, delivering unprecedented benefits to Australian businesses and creating new well-paying jobs. The A-UKFTA includes reciprocal commitments on temporary entry of skilled personnel that will support the bilateral advancement of professional skills, commercial interests and modern value chains.

Key outcomes include:

  • support for recognition of professional qualifications between Australia and the UK and increased collaboration between UK and Australian accreditation and regulatory bodies.
  • For the first time UK service suppliers including architects, scientists, researchers, lawyers and accountants will have access to visas to work in Australia without being subject to Australia’s changing skilled occupation list. This is more than Australia has ever offered any other country in a free trade agreement and will improve long-term planning for British businesses.
  • UK citizens aged 18 to 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia with a Working Holiday Maker Visa for up to 3 years without the requirement to undertake any ‘specified work’.
  • Australia will also pilot two new visa schemes for UK citizens, allowing early career workplace exchanges of up to one year for graduates between 21 and 45 years old. The A-UKFTA provides expanded pathways for young Australians to live and work in the UK, and vice versa, taking effect within the next five years.


This is an evolving space which is set to trailblaze plenty of unseen opportunities addressing Skilled labour shortages and facilitating easy skill transfer between countries bypassing the conundrums of professional qualification recognition. If you are an Australian business that wishes to engage UK citizens and wish to capitalise on these reforms, please contact our Migration Team here at MBA Lawyers today on 07 3211 8644 for advice. 



The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any specific entity or individual. Although MBA Lawyers endeavours to provide accurate and timely information, no guarantee is provided that the information is accurate at the date it was published or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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