A new permanent residency pathway has opened for people who were previously ineligible.
In one of the biggest immigration shake-ups for years, the Australian Government has released legislation allowing workers in occupations on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) to be nominated for PR via the Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream.
The legislative instrument applies to eligible 482 visa holders who remained in Australia during the global pandemic or 457 holders who held a 457 visa or had applied for one prior to 18 April 2017. The old grandfathering arrangement, introduced for 457 holders impacted by the introduction of a ‘short-term’ list, has essentially been reinstated.
We offer free visa assessments, so if you’re not quite sure whether you fall into one of the categories below, contact us and one of our Registered Migration Agents can confirm your eligibility.
It is worth noting that this legislation has a ‘sunset clause’ of 2032, which means it’s set to remain in place for at least ten years. If you’re not eligible right now, you may well be in the future.
Eligibility for new PR pathway
From 1 July 2022, employers can nominate workers who fall into one of these three categories.
1. 482 visa holders on short-term list
Applicants must have been in Australia, on any visa subclass, for a minimum of 12 months from 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021.
Have held a 482 visa for an occupation on the STSOL for at least 3 out of the 4 years prior to lodging an application via the 186 TRT scheme. This work needs to have been done with the same employer and in the same occupation unit group.
Be sponsored by a business lawfully and actively operating in Australia. This must be the same as your 482 or 457 sponsor.
2. People who held 457 visas after 18 April 2017 and have occupations on the STSOL
Applicants in this group must have held a 457 visa after April 2017 and may now hold a 482 visa. Experience on both subclasses can be combined.
Must have been in the country for a minimum of 12 months from 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021
Have been employed by in the nominated role, by the nominated employer for at least 3 years out of the 4 years prior to lodging an application via the 186 TRT scheme. This needs to have been completed with the same employer, in the same occupation unit group.
3. Former 457 holders who now hold 482 visas
People in this group must have held or had lodged a 457 visa application prior to 18 April 2017.
Hold a 482 or 457 visa at the time of applying for PR and have worked for the nominating business for a minimum of 2 years out of the last 3.
The old grandfathering arrangement, introduced for 457 holders impacted by the introduction of a ‘short-term’ occupation list, has essentially been brought back.
Holding a different visa during the pandemic
The legislation does not state that applicants must have held a 482 or 457 visa between 1 February 2020 and 14 December. Applicants will need to hold a 482 visa at the time of applying, and meet other requirements, but this is great news for people who were on other visas during this period.
Unpaid leave and reduced hours
Many people found themselves on reduced hours and taking unpaid leave between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021. If this includes you, you may be able to count this time towards your qualifying employment period for the purposes of 186 TRT.
Example scenarios for new permanent residency pathway
1. Aoife is sponsored as a marketing specialist on a 482 visa. It was granted from 1 February 2022 to 1 February 2024. Aoife was here on a working holiday for at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021. Aoife will need to apply for another 482 visas before 1 February 2024. Once she has 3 years of work experience on the 482 visa with the same employer in the same occupation she can apply for the 186 TRT visa.
2. Cian was in Australia on a COVID 408 visa for 12 months between September 2020 and December 2021. He left Australia in mid-December to return home for Christmas and new Year. Cian works as a restaurant manager and his employer, who he worked for on the 408, is desperate for him to return. They will be lodging a 482 visa application offshore for Cian. Once he has worked for the employer for 3 years on the 482 he can apply for TRT 186. Cian is expected to return by August 2022.
3. Molly was on a 457 from 1 July 2018 to 1 July 2020 as a video producer. She applied for a 482 visa prior to her 457 visa expiring. The new 482 was issued in the STSOL stream and granted for 2 years. The date of the grant was 30 September 2020 to 30 September 2022. As Molly has worked for 3 out of 4 years on a 457/482 combination with the same sponsor/employer and was present in Australia between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 21, she can lodge a 186 TRT after 1 July 2022.
Contact us for a free assessment and get chatting to your friends and colleagues – or anyone you know who could be eligible – because this really is an opportunity not to be missed.
We’re expecting this new permanent residency pathway to be popular, so if you are eligible, it may be worthwhile using the next few months to prepare your application so that you’re in a position to apply once the new legislation comes into effect.
This article contains general guidance only and will be updated as more information becomes available. Should you wish to make a PR application via this pathway, it is important that you receive tailored advice, specific to your individual situation. Please contact us for a free assessment to confirm your eligibility.