The Government has introduced significant changes to improve access to permanent residence in Australia for certain holders of Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) and Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visas.
These changes, which commence on 18 March 2022, have been enacted in response to the strong labour demand and the declining number of temporary visa holders in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream
Certain temporary skilled visa holders may be eligible for permanent residency in Australia. This occurs if their employer makes an application to the Minister under regulation 5.19 of the Regulations for the visa holder to be nominated for a position in Australia.
Once the nomination is approved, the visa holder may subsequently be eligible to apply for a Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme) visa or Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa* under a number of streams, including the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream.
* Note: The Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa replaced the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa on 16 November 2019. Transitional arrangements apply.
The result of the new measures means that more skilled workers holding subclass 457 visas or subclass 482 visas can be nominated and apply for a TRT visa.
What Are The Changes?
Under the changes which have been introduced, eligibility for permanent residency has been extended to include the following specified persons.
Certain Subclass 457 Visa Holders/Applicants
A person who, on 18 April 2017, held or applied for a subclass 457 visa that was subsequently granted.
This effectively extends the transitional arrangements that were enacted when the Government, on 18 April 2017, announced that the subclass 457 visa would cease and be replaced by the subclass 482 visa. These transitional arrangements were put in place at the time for those subclass 457 visa holders and applicants to continue to access permanent residence through a subclass 186 visa or subclass 187 visa.
This means certain specified 457 visa holders must be employed in the position in relation to which their subclass 457 visa was granted for at least 2 years (not including any periods of unpaid leave) during the period of 3 years immediately before the application for approval of the nomination of a position in Australia is made to be eligible for a TRTS visa.
Certain Subclass 482 Visa Holders
A person who, commencing on 1 July 2022, was in Australia for a cumulative total of at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021, and is employed by a person actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia at the time the nomination application is made.
This improves access to permanent residence for the existing subclass 482 visa holders in the short-term stream. Prior to this change, TSS visa holders with an occupation on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) were restricted to a two-year stay in Australia, with no pathway to permanent residence, as well as restrictions on onshore renewals.
And in a further development, as of 13 February 2023, this permanent residency pathway via the subclass 186 ENS visa (under the temporary residence transition stream) has been extended to subclass 482 visa holders who have been nominated for an occupation on the Regional Occupation List (ROL). Prior to this change, TSS visa holders with an occupation on the ROL were restricted to a four-year stay in Australia (under the medium-term stream), with no pathway to permanent residence.
This pathway is currently available for two years from 1 July 2022, at which stage the Government will decide whether to close, or to continue this permanent residency pathway.
This new measure recognises the contribution of skilled migrants to Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, addresses Australia’s skills shortages and seeks to retain those skilled migrants in Australia beyond the pandemic.
For further information and advice on these changes and to assess your eligibility for a permanent residence visa in Australia, please contact us at PAX Migration and book your initial consultation today.
Get More Information
To learn more about applying for a skilled employer visa, please see the following articles:
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Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice if you are interested in applying for a visa in Australia, including a skilled employer sponsored visa, as being fully informed will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your case. A migration professional can help you to do this. There are several terms that are defined in the migration law. Detailed advice about these is beyond the scope of this article and we would therefore recommend that you seek further information in this regard.
For up to date advice on these changes and how to apply for a skilled permanent residence visa, contact PAX Migration Australia, a leading immigration service providing advice on a range of visas, including skilled visas. Contact us for a no obligation discussion on how we may be able to assist you to achieve your migration goals in Australia.