Short-term Temporary Skill Shortage subclass 482 visa holders who worked in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic will have access to a new Australian permanent residency pathway in 2022.
From 1 July 2022, eligible Short-term stream subclass 482 visa holders who worked in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic will have access to a permanent residency pathway through the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa – Temporary Residence Transition stream.
(See more at the Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, The Hon Alex Hawke’s announcement).
This is exciting news and a significant development for employers and subclass 482 visa holders alike. Previously only open to Medium-term subclass 482 visa holders, this legislative change will now enable eligible Short-term subclass 482 visa holder applicants to progress to Australian permanent residency via employer-sponsored pathways for the first time.
It is also a tangible expression of the Australian Government’s gratitude and recognition of the contribution of skilled migrants who worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages them to remain in Australia and continue supporting Australia’s economic recovery.
The new permanent residency pathway for Short-term subclass 482 visa holders from 1 July 2022
New laws effective from 18 March 2022 mean eligible Short-term subclass 482 visa holders can apply from 1 July 2022 for Australian permanent residency via the Temporary Residence Transition stream of the subclass 186 visa scheme.
Previously, Short-term stream subclass 482 visa holders were allowed to live and work in Australia for up to 2 years (and in some cases up to 4 years) but prevented from applying for permanent residency through the subclass 186 visa pathway.
With this barrier now removed, eligible Short-term subclass 482 visa holders no longer have to turn to other Australian permanent residency pathways such as the state-nominated points tested Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa and Skilled Work Regional Provisional (subclass 491) visa.
How it works, or which Short-term subclass 482 visa holders are eligible to apply for permanent residency through the subclass 186 visa?
From 1 July 2022, eligible Short-term subclass 482 visa holders will be exempt from the requirement to nominate an occupation on the current Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or to hold a Medium-term stream subclass 482 visa.
To be eligible for this exemption, Short-term subclass 482 visa holders must also:
- have been in Australia for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021; and
- at the time of their subclass 186 visa application, be employed by a person actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia.
What does this mean for employers and subclass 482 visa holders?
If you are a Short-term subclass 482 visa holder, or employ a Short-term stream subclass 482 visa holder, and the subclass 482 visa holder meets the above exemption criteria, you or your employee may be eligible for the subclass 186 visa in the Temporary Residence Transition stream from 1 July 2022.
What does the new pathway mean for subclass 457 visa holders?
Some visa holders under the previous 457 visa scheme may also be eligible to apply for and be sponsored by their employer for a subclass 186 visa in the Temporary Residence Transition stream.
To be eligible, such applicants must meet one of the following:
- a person who held a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017;
- a person who was an applicant for a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 and was subsequently granted a subclass 457 visa;
- from 1 July 2022, a person who, after 18 April 2017, applied for a subclass 457 visa that was subsequently granted and meets the abovementioned exemption criteria.
186 visa eligibility criteria for subclass 482 visa and 457 visa holders
It is also important to note that, all applicants (whether they currently hold a 482 visa or a 457 visa) for the subclass 186 visa Temporary Residence Transition stream need to meet the usual eligibility criteria for the visa, and the sponsoring employers also need to meet the nomination criteria.
Given the different pathways, scenarios, employment relationships and timeframe requirements noted above, meeting eligibility criteria and the application process can be very confusing and complex to navigate.
As a sponsoring employer or visa applicant, you should always seek advice specific to your circumstances to understand eligibility, associated costs and timeframes.
Help for subclass 482 visa holders’ Australian permanent residency application
The opening of this new pathway presents an excellent opportunity for employer-sponsors looking to retain skilled employees and maintain a stable workforce along with subclass 482 visa holders wishing to stay in Australia permanently.
Australian immigration law is complex and constantly evolving. A great deal of time, expense and angst can be saved in your Australian visa application process by engaging an experienced immigration lawyer, who can be invaluable in ensuring any information prepared from the start of the visa process through to the decision on the application is consistent and sufficiently supported by the right kinds of evidence.
As immigration lawyers well-versed in Australian migration law including not only the legal aspects, but also the practical and process side, Craddock Murray Neumann’s Immigration Law team is available to help. Our lawyers can advise on your eligibility, and/or your employer’s eligibility to sponsor you for an Australian permanent visa, and then assist with and guide you and your sponsoring employer through every step of the application process.
We can give you the comfort that no stone has been left unturned in preparing and presenting your case, and provide your best chance of success in obtaining an Australian permanent visa.
For a confidential discussion about your visa options or any other immigration matter, please contact our team.
Please note that this page states the law at April 2022. Australian immigration law is complex and changes frequently, and the law in relation to visa pathways for Temporary Skill Shortage visa holders may have been changed since we prepared this page.