In 2017, the Department of Home Affairs introduced a new employer sponsored visa, the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) – subclass 482 visa to replace the existing subclass 457 visa. This move left a cohort of subclass 457 visa holders which were previously eligible for permanent residence visa with no pathway to permanent residence through employer sponsorship under the subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition stream.
So as to not disadvantage this group of 457 visa holders, the Department introduced Transitional Arrangement for subclass 457 visa holders who held or had applied for a subclass 457 visa on or before 18 April 2017. The transitional arrangements came into effect from 18 March 2018 and will be valid until 18 March 2022. In effect the transitional arrangements in relation to this cohort of subclass 457 visa holders apply were a business nomination application is lodged on or before 18 March 2018 until 18 March 2022. The protections covered by these transitional arrangements are as follows:
- The occupation list requirement does not apply;
- The applicants age must be under 50 years old and;
- The minimum period an applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation/position as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years out of the last three.
The visa holder does not need to still hold the same subclass 457 visa to be access these concessions. They can also hold a subsequent subclass 457 visa (457 visa), subclass 482 visa (TSS visa), or related bridging visa.
What does this mean for your employee?
If your employee who held or had applied for a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 still holds a relevant temporary visa, does not make an application for a subclass 186 or subclass 187 visa before 18 March 2022, they will no longer be able to access the transitional arrangement and will be subject to the current requirements which include:
- the applicant be under the age of 45 at time of application (unless exempt);
- the applicant must be working in the nominated occupation for their sponsor for at the last three years as a holder of a TSS/457 visa and
- the nominated occupation must be on Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
We can assist employers to audit their temporary visa holders to consider whether any fall into the 457 visa cohort, and provide strategic advice and preparation for their permanent visa pathways.
Should you have any questions about these transitional arrangements, please don’t hesitate to contact our Australian Migration Lawyers.