Australia – Authorities Confirm New Criteria for Permanent Visas and Transitional Arrangements

What is changing?

As of March 2018, Australian authorities have issued further clarifications around transitional arrangements for employer-sponsored permanent residence after new laws come into effect. There will be transitional provisions for certain holders of Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visas. Those not eligible for consideration under these transitional provisions will be fully subject to new laws. In addition, the passage of same sex marriage legislation in Australia will also be affected by new laws for visa applicants.

 

Who will be affected?

  • All clients who currently have a foreign employee working in Australia on a 457 visa.
  • Holders of subclass 457 visas in Australia eligible for permanent residence are urged to apply prior to March.

 

What to expect
There will be transitional provisions for certain holders of Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visas. Those not eligible for consideration under these transitional provisions will be fully subject to new laws.

 

This is summarized in the following table:

Australia – Authorities Confirm New Criteria for Permanent Visas and Transitional Arrangements

Nominee            
Eligible for Transitional Provisions?
Employee held a subclass 457 visa on April 18, 2017 and continues to hold this visa or a TSS visa or related bridging visa at the time of application for ENS or RSMS;
or
Employee submitted a subclass 457 visa application on or before April 18, 2017 and was subsequently granted this visa, and continues to hold this visa or a TSS visa or related bridging visa at time of application for ENS or RSMS.
Yes. New criteria will apply, except for the following:
  • Old occupation list requirements apply.
  • The maximum age of fifty (50) will apply.
  • The minimum tenure of two (2) years’ employment in the nominated occupation as a 457 or TSS visa will apply.
All other applicants
No. All new criteria apply.

 

Australia – Authorities Confirm New Criteria for Permanent Visas and Transitional Arrangements

Occupation – The nominee’s job must be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) unless the employer is in a regional area (for which more occupations will be available).

        • Employers must pay the nominee the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (A$53900 currently).
        • Residency period. Workers under the Temporary Residence Transition stream will become eligible for permanent residency after three (3) years (instead of the current two (2) years).
        • Those who may access the transitional provisions detailed above only need two (2) years of employment.
        • The applicant must demonstrate at least three (3) years of work experience relevant to the particular occupation.
        • All applicants must be below the maximum age of forty-five (45) years at the time of application (instead of the current maximum age of fifty (50) years).
        • Applications submitted prior to the new law coming into effect will be decided under law that applied at the time of application.

 

Applicants in Same Sex Marriage
With the passage of legislation allowing same sex marriage in Australia, applicants for Australian visas who are in a same sex marriage may now apply for visas as their partner’s spouse rather than as their “de-facto partner”. Previously, even if a couple were married outside Australia, their marriage was not recognized for immigration purposes and they would be considered as “de-facto spouses”. The Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) visa is now also available to people intending to enter into same sex marriages.

 

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Assist clients in identifing permanent residence pathways for employees currently in Australia on 457 visas and advise on the best timing for those applications.
  • Note the availability of permanent visas under existing provisions for current visa holders and also be prepared for the changes from March 2018.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.