Australia often ranks among the most livable countries in the world, making it attractive to immigrants. The Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) (TSS) visa grants businesses the right to employ and sponsor foreign workers on the skilled occupation list on a temporary basis. The duration of these visas can be up to 4 years, depending on the nominated occupation.
How does the occupation impact duration and permanent residence?
Occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) can be granted visas with a duration of up to two years (with the possibility of one renewal in Australia).
Occupations listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL) can lead up to a duration of 4 years and unlimited renewals onshore, provided an applicant continues to meet other eligibility criteria.
Importantly STSOL occupations do not ordinarily have an employer sponsored pathway to permanent residence.
How does the TSS visa provide a pathway to permanent residence?
There are other benefits to a TSS visa besides the ability to live and work in Australia provisionally. In some cases, a TSS visa opens the doorway to eventual permanent residency through the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) (ENS) visa. Visa holders who wish to explore the TSS to permanent residency option generally have two pathways: the Temporary Residence Transition Stream or Direct Entry.
Pathway 1: What is the Temporary Residence Transition Stream?
If you are a TSS visa holder who has worked in Australia with the same employer for at least three years, you may qualify for permanent residency under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream. Eligibility is based on the following:
- You must hold a valid 457 or TSS visa at the time of application
- You must be sponsored by a nominating employer for whom you have worked for at least three years
- You must work in an occupation that is listed on the MLTSSL or the ROL (unless transitional provisions apply)
- You must demonstrate English proficiency unless you qualify for an exemption. Assistance is available for applicants who need to improve their English before applying
- You must be under the age of 45 or qualify for an exemption
- You must meet the health and character requirements
Depending on your location, you will either apply for permanent residency via the Employer Nominated Scheme or the Regional Employer Sponsored Scheme. Your employer must meet certain criteria including that they agree to sponsor you, that there is a genuine need for the position, that they lodge a valid nomination, and pay the Skilling Australian Fund levy (among other things).
Pathway 2: What is the Direct Entry Stream?
The Direct Entry (DE) stream is another option for TSS visa holders to obtain PR, even in cases where a foreign worker has not been working with the sponsoring employer for at least three years. This can include applicants who switched jobs after their initial TSS visa was secured, or never held a TSS visa. The eligibility requirements under this stream include:
- At least 3 cumulative years of work experience in your nominated profession. The experience does not need to be with the same employer, but it must be for the same occupation
- Applicants must undertake a skills assessment (different occupations are dealt with different skills assessment authorities)
- Your occupation must be listed on the MLTSSL or the ROL
- English competency must be demonstrated
- Applicants must be under age 45
- You must meet the health and character requirements
As with the other pathways to permanent residency in Australia, certain family members can be included on your application.
Are there other visa options?
Even if you don’t have an employer willing to sponsor you, there are still other pathways to permanent residency in Australia. This includes:
- The General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program, which pairs foreign workers with Australian employers experiencing skill shortages. They and their families can permanently relocate to Australia under this migration program. Visas issued through the GSM are subject to a points test and are either independent, state/territory, or family-sponsored permanent visas.
- The Global Talent program if you have international recognition in one of the Department’s targeted sectors.
- Investor visas if you are a high net worth individual willing to invest in Australia
- Partner visas if you are in a relationship with an Australian permanent resident or citizen.
Can I include family on my TSS to PR Australia application?
Applicants who are applying for permanent residence under the ENS program can include certain family members on their applications. As a rule, applicants may include dependent children or stepchildren and spouses/partners. A few common points to consider include:
- Children or stepchildren must be from a current or previous relationship and under 18. The only exceptions to the age restrictions is for children aged between 18 to 23 who are dependent on their parents or those over 23 living with a disability that precludes them from supporting themselves
- Partners can be of the same or opposite sex. You do not need to be legally married if the relationship is ongoing and you can demonstrate a de facto relationship. Partners must be at least 18 when the application is filed
- All family members included in the application must meet the health and character requirements for Home Affairs. For children over 16, police clearances must be included with the application
What is the difference between permanent residency and citizenship?
Obtaining permanent residency status in Australia is an exciting opportunity and can also lead to eventual Australian citizenship.
Naturalised Australian citizens have all the same rights and responsibilities as those born in the country. They can apply for an Australian passport, travel abroad at their leisure, are eligible to vote in local, state, and national elections, and access student loans to further their education.
Permanent residents have the right to live and work in Australia indefinitely but do not have all the same freedoms as naturalised citizens. For instance, an ENS visa comes with a 5-year travel facility. You can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you desire while your permanent residency travel facility is valid. After this date, permanent residents require a new visa to re-enter Australia (usually a Resident Return (Subclass 155) (RRV) visa). Permanent residents also cannot obtain passports or vote.
|RIGHTS & ENTITLEMENTS||AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN||AUSTRALIAN PERMANENT RESIDENT|
|Travelling||Automatic right to entry||Must possess a permanent visa with valid travel authority required for a return|
|Voting||Citizens can vote in all government elections||No voting rights in most cases|
|Yes, but must follow rules and guidelines set by the relevant agency||In some instances, yes. It depends on the rules and guidelines set by the relevant agency.|
Do you require further information?
Hannan Tew are experienced in representing a wide variety of organisations with their immigration programs from start-ups to global corporations. If you seek our advice about permanent options for your visa holders, or you are a visa applicant seeking permanent residence, feel free to contact our experienced team by email at [email protected] or by phone at +61 3 9016 0484.