The Australian Government is in the process of introducing exciting changes to its migration system. These changes are designed to simplify the path to permanent residence for Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa holders, particularly those in the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visas.
These changes are set to have a significant impact. Beginning on 25 November 2023, they will apply to new Subclass 482 visa applications submitted on or after this date, as well as new Subclass 186 and 187 nomination applications still pending as of 25 November 2023.
In this article, we’ll dive into these transformations and explore how they will affect both employers and skilled workers in Australia.
Under the current system, short-term stream TSS visa holders face limitations on the number of applications they can submit within Australia, causing inconvenience for employers and employees. The forthcoming changes aim to eliminate these limitations, enabling short-term stream TSS visa holders to submit all their applications in Australia. This represents a significant improvement, reducing disruptions and providing a more predictable path to permanent residence for these workers.
The current system also imposes various restrictions on TRT stream nominations. Presently, the nominated occupation must align with skilled occupation lists, and Subclass 482 visa holders are required to have worked in the nominated position with their sponsoring employer for at least three years before they can apply for permanent residency. With the new legislation, the nominated occupation will no longer be assessed against a skilled occupation list, and the period to apply for permanent residency via the TRT stream will be reduced from three to two years.
Summary of the Changes
For Subclass 482 Visa Applications:
- All short-term stream TSS visa applications can now be lodged in Australia.
- Limits on the number of short-term streams TSS applications that visa holders can submit in Australia will be removed.
For Subclass 186 (TRT) Nomination Applications:
- Employers will now be able to nominate holders of all TSS visa streams, including Short-term and Labour Agreement streams, for permanent residency.
- Visa applicants must have held their Subclass 482 (or Subclass 457) visa(s) for 2 out of the last three years before nomination.
- Visa applicants will be required to have worked in a position with their sponsoring employer for 2 out of the last three years before nomination.
- Nominated occupations will no longer be assessed against a skilled occupation list. However, the occupation will still need to be listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
For Subclass 186 (TRT) Visa Applications:
- Modifying age exemptions for regional medical practitioner candidates and high-earning individuals aged 45 and above, facilitating a streamlined two-year pathway.
- Phasing out age exemptions related to COVID-19, which will no longer be applicable due to the implementation of the two-year pathway.
The Australian Government’s forthcoming changes to the TSS and TRT visa streams represent a significant step toward providing a more streamlined and accessible pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers.
These changes, scheduled to begin on 25 November 2023, are designed to enhance certainty for employers and TSS visa holders, making Australia an even more attractive destination for skilled professionals seeking to build a long-term future Down Under.
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