New legislation has now been released outlining the pathway to permanent residency for certain ‘Short-Term’ Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage and 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa holders, as well as an extension of the ‘grandfathering’ arrangements.
From 1 July 2022, a cohort of Subclass 482 and 457 visa holders with occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will be able to apply for Australian permanent residency via the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) through the Temporary Residence Transitional (TRT) stream.
The ENS visa had previously only been available to ‘grandfathered’ 457 visa holders (those who held or had applied for a 457 visa as of 18 April 2017), and 482 visa holders with occupations on the Medium-Long Term Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL).
To be eligible for the ENS visa, Short-term 482 holders and 457 visa holders who had applied for their visa after 18 April 2017, must be able to show:
- they have been in Australia for a period of at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021; and
- at the time of application, they are employed by a business that is actively and lawfully operating; and
- they are less than 45 years of age (unless an exemption applies); and
- they have worked in their nominated occupation for their sponsoring employer for at least three of the last four years as a 457 and/or TSS visa holder before the date of ENS application.
Applicants still also need to meet the English, health, and character requirements for the permanent visa.
Originally introduced in March 2018, ‘grandfathering’ provisions allowed Subclass 457 visa holders who held, or had applied for, a 457 visa as of 18 April 2017 to be able to access the ENS program regardless of occupation list, and with a higher age-cut off.
The original provisions ended on 18 March 2022, but the new legislation allows for an extension to increase access to the program and to cover applicants who may have had a visa refusal decision which is still pending at the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT).
The ‘grandfathered’ cohort of 457 visa holders can still access the ENS TRT program by demonstrating that they:
- are less than 50 years of age (unless an exemption applies); and
- have worked in their nominated occupation for their sponsoring employer for at least two of the last three years as a 457 and/or TSS visa holder.
The sponsoring business must still be actively and lawfully operating, and applicants still also need to meet the English, health, and character requirements for the permanent visa.
The new legislation will assist businesses and employees in short-term occupations to effectively plan for the future.
Should you have any questions about these transitional arrangements, please don’t hesitate to contact our migration lawyers.