Recent changes to Australia’s employer sponsored program includes:
- an age exemption for “legacy 457 workers”; and
- 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:
- held a Subclass 457 visa on or after 18 April 2017; and
- 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:
- they have held more than one short-term stream Subclass 482 visa; and
- they were in Australia when the application for their most recent Subclass 482 visa was made; and
- 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:
- 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
- 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.