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186186457 visa482Employer NominationEmployer Nomination SchemeEmployer SponsoredTSS

Age exemption for legacy 457 workers applying for ENS visas and the removal of onshore renewal restrictions for certain TSS visa holders in STSOL occupations

By April 6, 2022May 16th, 20228 Comments

Recent changes to Australia’s employer sponsored program includes:

  1. an age exemption for “legacy 457 workers”; and
  2. removal of onshore renewal restriction for eligible Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa holders in occupations on the Short‑term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

These are in addition to previous changes (see here) providing certain Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) (Subclass 457) and Subclass 482 visa holders in the short term stream a pathway to permanent residence through the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) (Subclass 186) visa.

Age exemption for legacy 457 workers

The Migration (Age exemption for subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme) visa) Amendment Instrument (LIN 22/047) 2022 means that from 1 July 2022, “Legacy 457 workers” will continue to have a pathway to permanent residency under the temporary residence transition stream despite no longer meeting conventional age restrictions.

What is a legacy 457 worker?

A legacy 457 worker for an Subclass 186 visa is defined as a person who:

  1. held a Subclass 457 visa on or after 18 April 2017; and
  2. was in Australia for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021.

Importantly, no age limit has been specified in the instrument, providing a “limitless” pathway to permanent residence for employees in this cohort.

Removal of onshore renewal restriction for eligible TSS visa holders in STSOL occupations

Currently, Subclass 482 visa applicants who are nominated in the ‘short-term’ stream (that is, working in occupations in the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List) are required to be physically outside of Australia to make a valid visa application if:

  1. they have held more than one short-term stream Subclass 482 visa; and
  2. they were in Australia when the application for their most recent Subclass 482 visa was made; and
  3. this requirement would not be inconsistent with any international trade obligation.

What are the new changes?

Migration Amendment (2022 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2022 makes a number of changes from 1 July 2022, including that Subclass 482 visa holders may apply for a third onshore Subclass 482 visa where they:

  1. were in Australia as the holder of a Subclass 482 visa in the short-term stream for a total of at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021; and
  2. make that further application before 1 July 2023 unless the Minister specifies a later date.

These updates are in addition to previous changes (see here) which apply from 1 July 2022 to provide certain Subclass 457 and Subclass 482 visa holders in the short term stream a pathway to permanent residence under the Subclass 186 visa program.

How can we help?

The relaxation of limitations for temporary visa holders in Australia will be beneficial for employers and employees, and help contribute to Australia’s post COVID-19 economy. Contact us by email at [email protected] or phone +61 3 9016 0484 if you have any further queries.

This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an immigration professional for up to date information.

Author admin

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Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Gracy . Mathai says:

    Hi good morning I am Gracy, ENROLLED NURSE , currently in Australia my question is that I had 457 visa from 2015 to 2019 July it was 2 years then renewed another 2years
    Then I got 482 visa twice from 2019 to till 2023 July ,my occupation considered in short time I am over 50
    am I eligible to apply 186 visa? , is there any age concession ? Do I need to provide IELTS? I have 5 years experience I have 3 years experience with current employer
    I have 6 years full time studies in Australia could you please help me

    • admin says:

      Hi Gracy,
      Yes, sounds like you might be able to access the age exemption for the 186 visa based on being a legacy 457 visa holder.
      If you send us an email at [email protected] we’d can look into this further for you.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Jonghee park says:

    What a good news, I might be legacy 457 visa worker. I applied 457 visa on June 2017 and granted September of 2018. After that I transferred sponsorship April of 2019, and I had worked until September 2021, and I have started to work for another sponsorship company from october, And My visa was recently granted I am 48 years, can I get 186 visa from my current company?

    • admin says:

      Hi Jonghee,
      Yes, the new changes should be able to assist you in obtaining permanent residence under the temporary residence transition stream of the ENS program.
      Just note that this will require you to remain employed with your current employer for 3 years before eligibility.
      Feel free to email us at [email protected] for further information.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Karyle Reyes says:

    Hi, is my dad a legacy 457 visa worker and is already 47 years old, he had 457 visa on may 2018 and then on 2021 he changed employer, will he still be able to get the 186 visa after 2 years on his current employer? thanks

    • admin says:

      Hi Karyle,
      The two year exemption (instead of 3 years) and transitional age exemption only applies if your father had or applied for a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 which was subsequently granted (see here).
      If your father does not meet the above, the usual exemption is then to be paid at above the FWHIT for 3 years.
      Feel free to contact us at [email protected] to discuss further.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Chalam says:


    Thanks for sharing this good news. I am over 50 years. As of 18th April I did have my 457 which was sponsored by a IT company. But this company is not ready to sponsor ENS186.

    Can I change my employer to another IT company which is ready to sponsor ENS 186, but still take advantage of this age exemption ?


    • admin says:

      Hi Chalam,
      This age exemption is only for people who (among other things) held a Subclass 457 visa on or after 18 April 2017.
      If you don’t meet this, you might be able to still apply for permanent residence through 3 years of employment at the FWHIT.
      Feel free to email us at [email protected] if you’d like to consider this in more detail.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

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