Transitional arrangements for 457 holders seeking permanent residence

The Government announced changes on the 18 April 2017 to the Employer nominated visa programs.These changes included the implementation of:

  • the new Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) (referred to by the Department as the ‘TSS visa’) replacing the old subclass 457 visa; AND

  • related changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass 187) visa programs

The final key changes to be introduced in March 2018 for the ENS and RSMS visa programs, subject to the transitional arrangements and the final drafting of regulations, are:

  • Skilled occupation lists: The MLTSSL will apply to the ENS and the RSMS, with additional occupations available through the RSMS to support regional employers

  • Salary arrangements: the new market salary framework planned to be introduced for the TSS visa will also apply to ENS and RSMS, including Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) requirements

  • Residency: The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years

  • Work experience: At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required

  • Age: All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 years at the time of application.

  • Training requirement: Employers nominating a worker for an ENS or RSMS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund. The contribution will be: o payable in full at the time the worker is nominated. $3,000 for small businesses (those with an annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $5,000 for other businesses.

Transitional arrangements - Subclass 457 visa holders who held, or had applied for, a Subclass 457 visa as at 18 April 2017 will be able to access certain existing provisions under the Subclass 186 Temporary Transition Stream (TRT) stream.

  • These transitional arrangements are relevant for TRT stream applications only. No transitional arrangements are in place for Direct Entry (DE) stream applicants who are expected to meet the requirements in place at the time of application. New requirements will not be applied to pipeline applications.Occupation requirements remain the same (i.e. There are no restrictions as long as the nominee continues to work in the same position for the same employer as approved for their subclass 457 visa);

  • The age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age; and

  • The work experience requirement and the requirement to have worked at least two out of the three years prior to nomination on a subclass 457 will remain at two years.

  • They will, however, be required to meet additional subclass 186 and subclass 187 eligibility criteria that will be in place at that time, including English language requirements and salary arrangements, with the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) to be introduced for subclass 186 and 187 visa from March 2018.

  • Any ENS or RSMS nomination made using these transitional arrangements will be required to meet the following new training levy which will replace the current training benchmark requirements:

  • Businesses with a turnover of less than AUD 10 million per year will be required to make a one-off payment of AUD 3,000 for each employee being sponsored for an ENS or RSMS visa;

  • Businesses with a turnover of AUD 10 million or more per year will be required to make an upfront payment of AUD 5,000 for each employee being sponsored for an ENS or RSMS visa.

These announced changes may or may not have an impact on your migration strategy depending on your personal specific criteria.

If you believe the changes impact you and you require advice and assistance with your permanent residence application, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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