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Permanent residence pathways for 457 and 482 visa holders nominated in the short-term stream – Work Visas



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The Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa was
created in 2018 (replacing the subclass 457 visa), resulting in the

short-term occupation list
(STSOL) being established. The STSOL
allowed businesses to sponsor applicants for up to four years,
however, they were not eligible for permanent residence via the
Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS), subclass 186.

In November 2021, the Australian Government announced its
intention to improve access to permanent residence for:

  • existing Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa holders
    in the short-term stream; and

  • legacy Temporary Work Skilled (subclass 457) visa holders who
    no longer meet the age requirement.

On 18 March 2022, the Government introduced new legislative
provisions creating permanent residence pathways for previously
excluded applicants.

This article will examine the permanent residence pathway via
the subclass 186 temporary residence transition (TRT) stream,
positively impacting current 457 and 482 visa holders who supported
Australian businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

482 Visa Holders Nominated in the STSOL

The March 2018 changes severely impacted many applicants (and
their employer s ) sponsored on a 482 visa in a short-term stream
occupation. Those that had spent up to four years living, working
and contributing to the Australian economy now had limited options
to transition to permanent residence after a brief period on their
temporary work visa.

Recent Changes to 482 Visa Legislation

From 1 July 2022 , employers can nominate
sponsored 482 TSS workers in short-term occupations for the ENS TRT
stream if the applicant:

  • was in Australia for at least 12 months between 1
    February 2020 and 14 December 2021
    . (Note: the
    legislative instruments do not specify the applicant’s
    requirement to have held a 482 visa during this period, so the
    applicant could have held any visa. However, w e are seeking
    further clarification from the Department of Home Affairs);

  • at the time of application, works for a person actively and
    lawfully operating a business in Australia; and

  • has been employed in the nominated position with the same
    employer for at least three years ; less i f the COVID-19 unpaid
    leave period or COVID-19 reduced work period is determined. Periods
    of unpaid leave will not count to the three-year requirement.

Applicants still need to be under 45 years of age at time of
applying for a visa, unless they can claim an age exemption.

However, those who held a 457 visa on or after 18 April 2017 and
were in Australia for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020
and 14 December 2021, will be exempt from the age requirement.

Applicants who were not in Australia for a cumulative period of
12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021 will not be
eligible.

457 Visa Holders Pre 18 April 2017

The Australian Government implemented transitional arrangements
after abolishing the 457 visa in 2018. These aimed to ensure 457
visa holders could still access permanent residency.

The transitional arrangements were in effect for grandfathered
457 visa holders from 18 March 2018 to 18 March 2022. Grandfathered
457 visa holders are those who:

  • held a 457 visa before 18 April 2017; or

  • applied for a 457 visa before this date, with the visa
    subsequently being granted.

Refer to our past articles for further information:

18 April 2017 Changes to 457 Visa Legislation

The government introduced new legislation from 18 March 2022 to
keep these transitional arrangements in place. In order to apply
for permanent residency or permanent residence visa, the 457 visa
holder must have:

  • held or applied for a 457 visa before 18 April 2017, with a
    subsequently granted visa ; and

  • worked in the nominated position with the same employer for at
    least two years ; less if the visa authority determines the
    COVID-19 unpaid leave period or COVID-19 reduced work perio d .
    Periods of unpaid leave will not count to the two-year
    requirement.

It is unclear whether applicants can be under 50 years of age at
the time of application. However, we will update you as associated
legislation is amended to reflect this recent change.

457 Visa Holders Post 18 April 2017

The recent change in law also captures those who:

  • after 18 April 2017, applied for a nd granted a subclass 457
    visa;

  • have been in Australia for at least 12 months between 1
    February 2020 and 14 December 2021; and

  • at the time of application, are employed by someone actively
    and lawfully operating a business in Australia.

This covers subclass 457 visa holders who:

  • could not access transitional arrangements (as opposed to 457
    visa holders pre 18 April 2017) ; and

  • hold an occupation that is not on the medium-term stream.

Key Takeaways

This is a welcome change and improvement to the TSS 482
scheme.It beneficially impacts many temporary visa holders and
Australian employers. The changes demonstrate that the Australian
Government is heeding the Australian community’s concerns and
recognises the significant contribution of 457 and 482 visa holders
(particularly in the short-term occupations) to the economy during
the COVID-19 pandemic.

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