New Permanent Visa Requirements
Thousands of Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa holders now have a pathway to permanent residency under new legislation implemented on 25 November 2023.
Also included is a clean-up of now redundant COVID-19 concessions, and the ending of the legacy 457 worker age exemptions.
Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (482) visa
Only one change was made to the Subclass 482 visa category, being the removal of onshore renewal limits for those in the short-term stream.
Short-Term 482 visa holders can now renew their visa in Australia an unlimited number of times, however, there is still a 'Genuine Temporary Entrant' requirement to be met for this cohort.
Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa
Almost all 482 visa holders will now be able to access the Temporary Residence Transitional stream of the ENS visa.
Those holding visas in the short-term, medium-term, and labour agreement streams can apply for an ENS transitional stream visa provided they:
*482 visa holders with occupation code 070499 cannot apply for an ENS visa unless there is an approved pathway written into the Labour Agreement.
- Have an occupation code that exists in ANZSCO*
- Nominate an occupation in the same 4-digit ANZSCO group as the one on their 482 visa
- Have held a 457/482 visa for at least 2 years
- Have worked in their nominated position for at least 2 out of the last 3 years (not including any unpaid leave), on a full-time basis, while located in Australia
All other ENS requirements remain in place. This means that unless specific exemptions apply (see below), applicants must be less than 45 years of age. They must also meet Competent level English, minimum salary, health, and character requirements.
Age Exemptions for Applicants Over 45
Age exemptions for regional medical practitioners and those earning a high income have been amended to align with the new 2-year transitional pathway.
The 'Legacy 457 worker', being a person who
- held a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa on or after 18 April 2017 and
- was in Australia for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021
continues to have no age limitation, however, there is now a deadline of 30 June 2024
to apply for a transitional ENS visa if the applicant is relying on the age exemption.
On-Hire Labour Agreement Workers
ENS requirements state that the Nominator must be able to demonstrate a need for an applicant to be employed in a position under the direct control of the nominating business. This requirement has not changed even with the expanded pathway.
482 visa holders under On-Hire Labour Agreements have traditionally been unable to meet this requirement as they are placed in external businesses to perform their role.
482 COVID-19 Concessions
Income- and employment-related concessions for 482 visa holders affected by COVID stand-down periods have now ceased.
No changes have been made to the ENS Direct Entry pathway, nor the Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa.
Applicants for these visas are still bound to skilled occupation lists, and the 494 holders must continue to live and work in regional Australia for at least 3 years prior to applying for a permanent Subclass 191.