Temporary concessions to permanent residence pathway for certain employer sponsored visa holders
The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) introduced changes to the transitional pathway to permanent residence for some employer-sponsored visa holders from 1 July 2022. These extremely generous regulatory changes are earmarked to be repealed after two years, so those who can take advantage of the new rules should do so as soon as possible. The current repeal date is 30 June 2024.
Australia’s strong demand for labour and the reduced number of visa holders onshore due to the pandemic and border lockdowns has resulted in these drastic measures being implemented.
Despite the re-written Regulations not containing any end date, the Department of Home Affairs is publicizing the intention for the concessions to be available for a set period of 2 years. It will be interesting to see what happens with this stance closer to June 2024.
Am I eligible to apply for permanent residence under these concessions?
- currently holds a temporary sponsored work visa with an occupation that traditionally has not provided a pathway through to permanent residence (short-term list); and
- who was also present onshore for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021,
may be eligible.
If you meet this criterion, you should seek expert advice as to whether or not this new transitional pathway is a realistic option for you.
What criteria will I need to satisfy?
The usual criteria relating to:
- minimum skills/qualifications;
- professional registration (if applicable);
- relevant work experience;
- English language;
- health; and
However, people working in an occupation that is on the “Short Term Skills Occupation List” (some 215 occupations), now have a window of opportunity to apply for permanent residence which was not available prior to 1 July 2022.
New age exemptions for Visa sub-class 457
There are also some new age exemptions available for people who held a subclass 457 visa on or after 18 April 2017 and who also remained onshore for the specified period (at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021).
It is important to note that even if you only hold a bridging visa (having already applied for an employer-sponsored temporary visa), you could still be in a position to apply if you satisfy all other criteria.
Were you stood down during COVID?
Individuals impacted by stand-downs or reduced working hours due to COVID-19 have also been covered by exemptions to the full-time sponsored employment period generally required by the employer nomination criteria.
This criterion included having worked for the sponsoring employer for at least three years in the four years immediately prior to being nominated to fill a permanent position.
Great opportunity for some seeking an employer-sponsored permanent residence visa
Good news all round for a number of people who previously had no long-term visa options or those original 457 visa holders that missed out on the previous employer-sponsored visa concessions that ended on 18 March 2022.
It’s also good news for a lot of people who previously had limited options and who have quite often already spent extended periods of time living and working here, supporting our economy and their local communities.
Get help from a registered migration agent
Given the costs involved for a business to nominate someone for a sponsored work visa, it is essential that you get it right the first time. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that reading through the information published online will be enough to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Speak to our Registered Migration Agent who will be able to assess your circumstances and confirm if you are able to satisfy both the nomination and visa application criteria in order to apply before any non-refundable payments are made.
It’s important to act fast if you wish to take advantage of the concessions addressed in this article. They are currently slated for repeal on 30 June 2024.
Contacting Hall Payne Lawyers
You can contact us by phone or email to arrange your consultation; either face-to-face at one of our offices, by telephone or by videoconference consultation.
This article relates to Australian law; either at a State or Federal level.
The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Hall Payne Lawyers.