In November 2021, the Government announced plans to improve access to permanent residence for Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa holders. Many migrants have been waiting for news about these changes and when they might come to into effect. The wait is now over.
The long-awaited new legislation which makes these changes possible has now been published. This article will help you understand if and how these changes affect you.
First, some background
In 2017 the Government announced that Subclass 457 visas will be replaced by the new Subclass 482 visas. The skilled occupations list was split into the Short-term Skilled Occupations List, and the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills list
To subclass 457/482 visa holders, this meant that they needed an occupation on the MLTSOL to transition to permanent residence via the Subclass 186 visa in the Temporary Residence Transition stream (TRT). Holders with a Short-term occupation did not have a path to permanent residence.
An exception to the new rules covered people who held or applied for a 457 visa when these rules were announced in April 2017.
More people will soon be able to apply for permanent residence through the Subclass 186 TRT visa. Commencing 1 July 2022, 482 visa holders will be able to access the TRT path to permanent residence regardless of their nominated occupation, if:
- They were in Australia for a total of at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021; and
- Are employed by a lawfully operating business in Australia at the time the Subclass 186 nomination application is made.
In other words, 482 visa holders who meet the above requirements now have a path to PR even if their occupation is on the Short-term list.
All other TRT criteria must be met, including sponsored work for the same employer for a total of 3 years in the past 4 years.
The new provisions maintain the grandfathering arrangements, allowing individuals who held or applied for 457 visas in April 2017 to access the ‘old’ TRT rules. They go further by giving access to the Subclass 186 TRT path to people who applied for and were granted 457 visas even after 2017.
Concessions to visa holders were on unpaid leave due to Covid-19 during their employment and apply for TRT remain available.
According to the Department, these highly anticipated changes will open a path to permanent residence to around 20,000 people.
The expansion recognises the contribution of skilled migrants to Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic, helps them to remain in Australia as permanent residents and addresses Australia’s skills shortages. It is another feature of the Government’s pivot to ease access to Australian visas as the world emerges from the pandemic.
Migrants who intend to apply under the new rules should take care and ensure that they meet all TRT eligibility criteria. Employer-sponsored visas are complex and the consequences of making an error can be dire. Applicants should consider seeking the assistance of an experienced Migration Agent.
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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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