The Department of Home Affairs (Department) has provided updates on impact on 457 or Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa holders since COVID-19 pandemic. These visa holders were allowed to take unpaid leave (being stood down) or work on a part-time basis without breaching their visa conditions, as long as they are still employed by the sponsored employers.
However, the Department hasn’t provided any update or guidance then on how these visa holders are affected when they apply for 186/187 Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream), to be more specific, whether they are able to count the unpaid period or part-time work period towards the required length of employment with the employer to be eligible to apply for the 186/187 visa (TRT stream).
Finally on 23 November 2020, the Department released a transitional arrangement for COVID affected 457 or TSS visa holders who are applying for 186/187 visas (TRT stream). This transitional arrangement provides that due to COVID-19 pandemic, a 457 or TSS visa holder can count their unpaid leave period or part-time work period during the concession period (currently from 1 February 2020 to a date that is going to be advised by the Department):
- towards the 3-year period (out of the 4) the visa holder is required to have been employed in the same nominated occupation/position with the employer – this is for 457 or TSS visa holders whose visas were applied on or after 19 April 2017 and subsequently granted
- towards the 2-year period (out of the 3) the visa holder is required to have been employed in the same nominated occupation/position with the employer – this is for 457 or TSS visa holders whose visas were applied on or before 18 April 2017 and subsequently granted
If your employment was affected by COVID-19 pandemic, and you need to find out whether you are still eligible to apply for a 186 or 187 visa (TRT stream), please do not hesitate to contact us for an assessment.
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