Permanent residence transition for temporary work visa holders
The Australian Government made changes to the current Employer Nomination Scheme to open the pathways for greater pool of visa applicants to access permanent residency. As the grandfathering provisions for holders of the old employer sponsored Temporary work visa subclass 457 closed on 18 March 2022, the new provisions came into force shortly after in essence extending the concessional arrangements beyond that end date. People who have missed out on applying for their permanent residency within the grandfathering provisions can still do so regardless of their occupation as long as they applied for a 457 visa prior to 18 April 2017 which was subsequently granted and have worked for the nominating employer for at least three years.
Most criteria for the nomination remain the same, such as the overseas nationals seeking to access these new pathways must already be here in Australia and already sponsored on a temporary employer sponsored visa such as subclass 457 or 482 by an Australian entity actively and lawfully operating business onshore. The overseas nationals must have worked for their Australian employer for at least three years immediately prior to the lodgement of their permanent residency application (unless concessions apply) and they must have been working in their nominated occupation.
The change that is impacting anyone working in an occupation of the Short-Term Occupations List (STSOL) who previously did not have a pathway to permanent residency is that they now do have a pathway as long as they have been in Australia for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021 and their employer is interested in supporting them through nomination. In essence, anyone who was in Australia during that period who worked in an occupation available on any of the STSOL or MLTSOL lists could be nominated for the Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 visa now and down the track transitioned to the permanent subclass 186 visa through the generous scope of these new provisions.
The provisions are also generous to those who were temporarily stood down during COVID and their time out of work as a result of the pandemic is not going to impact or delay their eligibility to apply, as it would be considered to have been time of employment for the purpose of meeting the three years of employment with the nominating employer.
The age limit remains at 45 for those applying from a 457 or 482 granted under the provisions post 18 April 2017 unless an exemption applies and these are restricted to academics, scientists, general practitioners in regional areas and high-income earners taking into account the impacts on that high income as a result of the COVID pandemic which reduced their income during a specified period. The age limit remains at 50 for the 457 visa holders of the pre-18 April 2017 regime. There may be further changes in respect of the age limitations to fulfil the promised amendments as per the November 2021 announcements of the Minister for Immigration.
Assent Migration Lawyers can help you navigate the myriad of changes that are constantly occuring in the Australian visa and immigration policies.