Permanent residency option that was only available to “Medium- and Long-Term Strategic Skill List (MLTSSL)” is now open to Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) occupation. Here is all you need to know about it.
In response to labour shortage and declining number of temporary visa holders due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Australian Government, on 25 November 2021 announced measures to introduce permanent residency for 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) and 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled). Now, Australia has made Company Sponsored Permanent residency pathway available for some short term 482 visa holders.
The Federal Australian Government has introduced legislation to make additional residency pathways available for 482 (STSOL occupations) visa holders who stayed in Australia during Covid. The legislation has been introduced, enabling this to happen likely after 1 July 2022.
Migration agent Gisella Ali of Melbourne-based Visa 2 Land Pty Ltd explains the nitty-gritty of the changes:
What is the new policy (instrument)?
The new section is tailored to improve access to permanent residence for the subclass 482 visa holders who are on Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). It also allows permanent residency for skilled workers holding subclass 457 (now repealed). The new policy seeks to retain temporary visa holders and migrants by recognising their skills and contribution during the pandemic.
How does this work?
Some 482 and 457 visa holders could be eligible to become a permanent resident in Australia if their employer nominates them for permanent residency subclass 186 or subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme). Part of these measures will be implemented from 1 July 2022 onwards.
What PR streams can be applied for?
Temporary visa holders can apply for permanent residency in a number of streams falling under the PR subclass 186 visa and subclass 187 visa.
What are the requirements for those who are on 457 visa?
They must have held one or more 457 or 482 visas for at least 2 of the previous 3 years immediately prior to lodging the nomination application.
Also, they must be employed on a full-time basis in the position in relation to which the 457 or 482 visas were granted as the holder of one of these visas for at least 2 of the previous 3 years immediately prior to lodging the nomination application (with any unpaid leave not counted).
What are the requirements for those who are on 457/482 visa?
They must have held one or more 457 or 482 visas for at least 3 of the previous 4 years immediately prior to nomination application.
As of 1 July 2022, the person must have been in Australia for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021 and worked for a lawfully operating business, who hold a 482 (either now or will obtain same in the future), would be considered eligible for the PR transition scheme; after working on the 482 for at least 3 of the 4-year period prior to the application.
They must be employed on a full-time basis in the position in relation to which the 457 or 482 visa were granted, as the holder of one of these visas for at least 3 of the previous 4 years (immediately prior to nomination application).
Is it a must for the occupation code to be listed on the 186 list?
No, there is no requirement for the nominated occupation to be on the 186-visa occupation list.
What about those working as independent contractor?
For 457 visas, if they were sponsored as an independent contractor, they are required to be employed in the occupation for 2 years. For 482 visas, if they are nominated as independent contractor for any occupation, then they must be employed in that occupation for 3 years.
How do I meet the 3-years requirement?
Since most 482 visas in the Short-term stream are granted for at most 2 years, those wanting to qualify must apply for a further 482 visa with the same employer to achieve 3-year-requirement in order to apply for permanent residency visa.
What about the age requirement?
The Minister had previously announced prior to the release of these measures that certain age concessions would also be introduced. At this stage, those concessions have not been communicated and further advise on this issue is awaited.
What about bridging visa holders?
Bridging visa holders’ last substantive visa must have been either a 457 or 482.
What will be the impact of unpaid leave period?
If due to the pandemic a person took unpaid leave or had their full-time employment reduced due to related lockdowns during a concession period, which commenced on 1 February 2020 and is still ongoing, the required 2 or 3 years of employment is reduced by that period.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general and is not specific advice. If you want accurate information relevant to your situation, you should consult a registered migration agent.