The Australian migrant community has been eagerly awaiting the changes to employer-sponsored visas coming into effect. Plans to expand access to permanent residency for all Subclass 482 (Temporary Skills Shortage - TSS) visa holders were announced earlier in 2023.
The Department of Home Affairs has now provided an outline of the expected changes to Migration Agents. They have also provided an estimated date for these changes to commence. In this blog post, we will explore the upcoming changes and what they mean for temporary skilled workers in Australia.
Why are changes being made?
Current pathways to PR for temporary skilled visa holders are often limited, which has led to a growing number of ‘permanently temporary’ visa holders in Australia.
To attract the skilled workers Australia needs, the government plans to create clear pathways to PR for all Subclass 482 visa streams. This will provide more certainty to employers and sc482 visa holders as well as simplifying the nomination process.
These changes are a first step while the government continues work on reforms to the skilled visa programs.
When will the changes come into effect?
These changes are expected to commence from 25 November 2023* (subject to the approval of regulation changes).
Who will these changes apply to?
Changes to the sc482 visa will apply to new applications lodged on or after 25 November 2023* (subject to the approval of regulation changes).
Changes to the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream nomination requirements will apply to new Subclass 186 and 187 nomination and visa applications. It will also apply to existing applications that are yet to be finalised as at 25 November 2023*.
What will be changing?
Subclass 482 TSS visa:
Removal of Application Limits: Applicants in the Short-term stream will no longer face limits on the number of sc482 visa applications they can lodge while in Australia.
Short-term stream sc482 visa holders with visas expiring before the changes will need to travel outside Australia to lodge a third short-term stream sc482 application.
TRT stream of Subclass 186 and 187 visa nominations
Eligibility Expansion: Employers will be able to nominate holders of all sc482 visa streams, including the Short-term and Labour Agreement streams. The visa applicant must have held their sc482 or sc457 visa(s) for two out of the three years before nomination.
Occupation Assessment: Nominated occupations will no longer be assessed against skilled migration occupation lists. However, they must be listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), and the nominated worker must continue working in the nominated occupation.
Work Experience Adjustment: The period during which sc482 visa holders are required to have worked in a position with their sponsoring employer will be reduced to two out of the three years before nomination. Medical Practitioners and some executives are permitted to combine work experience in different positions in certain circumstances.
Age Exemptions: Age exemptions will be modified for regional medical practitioners and high-income earning applicants aged 45 years and over to allow for a two-year pathway. This adjustment will replace overlapping COVID-19 related age exemptions that will no longer be necessary.
The factsheet does not mention the previously announced plan to extend the sc482 'grace period' between jobs to 6 months.
The Government's dedication to improving pathways to permanent residence demonstrates a commitment to a more equitable immigration system. As these changes come into effect and more are underway, both temporary skilled workers and employers should consider seeking advice from Registered Migration Agents. Expert advice will provide valuable guidance, ensuring a smoother transition to permanent residence and help navigate the evolving landscape of Australian visas. Stay tuned to ImmiUpdates for news on the implementation of the changes and more Australian immigration news. Subscribe to the next ImmiUpdate below.
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Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Elan has many years of experience working in immigration, finance and health. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.
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