Pathways to Permanent Residency (PR) for temporary skilled visa holders have been limited, which has led to a growing number of “permanently temporary” visa holders in Australia.
The government is dedicated to implementing changes to Australia’s migration system to ensure temporary skilled workers have a pathway to PR.
To support this, the Department of Home Affairs is currently working on changes to the:
Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) (TSS) visa
Temporary Residence Transition stream (TRT) of the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) (RSMS) visa subclasses.
The government is keen to attract skilled workers to Australia and provide more equitable access to PR for all TSS visa holders.
Commencing on 25th November 2023, the government has created clear pathways to PR for all Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) (TSS) visa streams, giving more certainty to employers and visa holders.
There was no announcement to lodgement costs changing. There could be an announcement regarding this at the next Budget delivered in May 2024.
There is anticipation that these changes may result in an increase in applications for PR, though there has not been a corresponding increase in the PR planning levels (places) announced in the 2023-24 Federal Budget. We therefore expect that processing times at the Department of Home Affairs will lengthen.
What will be changing?
Changes to the TSS visa (subclass 482), from 25th November 2023
All short-term stream TSS visa applications can be lodged in Australia
· Limits on the number of Short-term stream TSS applications visa holders can make in Australia will be removed. Applicants who wish to lodge a third or more Short-term stream TSS visa can do so from onshore. They no longer have to travel outside of Australia and lodge from overseas. · Short term stream TSS holders with visas expiring before the changes will need to travel outside Australia to lodge a third short term-stream TSS application.
Changes to nomination requirements for the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass 187) visa subclasses
Eligible visa requirements for ENS/RSMS nominations
· Employers will be able to nominate holders of all TSS visa streams, including Short-term and Labour Agreement streams.
· The nominated person will need to have held their TSS (or subclass 457) visa(s) for 2 out of the 3 years before nomination. Currently the requirement is 3 years in 4 before nomination.
· The RSMS visa will continue to be restricted to transitional 457 workers and transitional 482 workers.
Nominated occupation requirements
· Nominated occupations will no longer be assessed against skilled migration occupation lists.
· The nominated occupation will need to be listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) and the nominated worker will need to continue to work in the occupation nominated for their TSS visa(s).
Changes to visa requirements for the TRT stream of the ENS and RSMS visa subclasses
Age exemption requirements
· Changes will be made to age exemptions for regional medical practitioner applicants and high income earning applicants aged 45 years and over to allow for a two-year pathway.
· COVID-19 related age exemptions that will become redundant as a result of the two-year pathway, will be ended.
For more information on how these significant changes might affect you, your clients or your employees, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Visa team at email@example.com