Australia announces route to permanent residence for temporary employer-sponsored visa holders

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decreasing number of temporary visa holders by 2021. Partly as a result, there is currently a high demand for suitable workforce from the Australian labour market. In response, the Australian Government announced on 25 November 2021 that measures will be introduced to improve the option of permanent residency. These measures will apply to certain subclass 482 and 457 visa holders and are due to be introduced on 1 July 2022.

What is an Employer Sponsored Visa (subclass 482 and 457)?

First of all, it is good to make the comparison between the two visa categories. The subclass 457 visa is the predecessor of the current subclass 482 “Temporary Skill Shortage visa”. Both belong to the ’employer sponsored’ category. This means that candidates need an employer to be able to apply for a visa within this category.

Under the current ‘Temporary Skill Shortage visa’, subclass 482, mainly two routes can be distinguished. These are the medium-term stream and the short-term stream. Candidates with an occupation on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List, or the Regional Occupation List may be able to qualify for a visa with a validity of up to four years. After the candidate has worked for the Australian employer for three years, they can then proceed to a permanent visa. For candidates on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List, the current programme is slightly different. Within this programme a visa for two years can be applied for. After these two years, the visa can be extended for another two years, but moving on to permanent residence is not possible.

The Australian government now wants to change this. The reason for this is that everyone who stayed in Australia during the pandemic contributed to the rebuilding of the economy. In order to acknowledge this, a transition to permanent residence will be made possible for holders of a short-term visa. You can read how they intend to do this below.

Announced changes

The new rules will be introduced on 1 July 2022 and apply to candidates who have worked in Australia for a total of at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021. Additional work experience requirements apply, but vary by situation and visa status.

Applicants who meet the requirements may qualify for a permanent visa in subclasses 186 or 187 through the Temporary Residence Transition stream (TRT). Having an Australian employer is a requirement.

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