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  • Writer's pictureDessie

Permanent residency transition consessions not as generous as they seemed originally

The pathway to Australian permanent residency for temporary work visa holder sponsored by their Australian employer has been subject to dynamic changes since April 2017. The most recent change occurred in March 2022 when the grandfathering provisions for the holders of a Temporary Work (Skilled) subclass 457 visa transitioning to permanent visas ceased. To leave the door open for these cohort of temporary work visa holders, the Federal Government published new set of legislative changes in the employer nominated Temporary Residence Transition pathway. The changes would not only benefit the subclass 457 visa holders who were going to miss out at the end of March, but a great number of other temporary work visa holders working in a skilled occupation which appears on the "Short-term" list of occupations (STSOL).

In accordance with the Minister's announcement from November 2021 these concessions were aimed to benefit the existing employer sponsored temporary work visa holders on Temporary Skills Shortage subclass 482 visa and Temporary Work (Skilled) subclass 457 visa. The new pathway will become available from 1 July 2022 and as per announcement would remain available for a period of two years.

The Skilled Newsletter of March 2022 referred to the recently published legislative instrument with an end date in April 2023 shows significant discrepancies with the announced generous opening for overseas nationals working during the two years of the Pandemic in occupations on the Short term list. There may be further legislative changes necessary to iron out such discrepancies. As the law stands at present it offers opportunities for a small number of overseas nationals who had already been granted a temporary employer sponsored work subclass 457 visa or subclass 482 visa prior to the announcement in November 2021 and the legislative changes in March 2022.

The changes do not seem to be offering the generous opportunities to overseas nationals who were working in Australia during the Pandemic but have not already been nominated in the subclass 482 or subclass 457 visa categories. Those overseas nationals who are now considering moving onto a subclass 482 visa in a short term occupation, may be successfully nominated by their Australian employers on a two-year temporary work visa but may just miss out on the permanent residency visa pathway.

After reading the most recent information provided by the Department of Home Affairs, the only presumption that can be made, is that the Federal Government intends to offer the concessions only to existing Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 and Temporary Work subclass 457 visa holders who had already been working in Australia on one of these two visas during the pandemic period. Perhaps, the government had no intention to offer such concessions widely to the overseas nationals working in Australia in an occupation on the Short term list. With Federal elections around the corner, and dependent on the immigration policies which would be presented by the new Government, we may have greater clarity in the following three months.

Contact Assent Migration Lawyers to help you navigate the ever changing landscape of the Australian visa and immigration systems.

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