If you are temporarily permitted to work in Australia under a 457 visa, you may be eligible for permanent residency under two different streams. These are the:

  • Temporary Residence Transition stream; or
  • Direct Entry stream.

However, your options to seek permanent residency as a 457 visa holder will depend upon whether you held the visa before 18 April 2017. Different arrangements apply to those who had the visa before or after this date, so you must assess your options based on your personal circumstances. Although the 457 visas have now been replaced by the current 482 visas, this article will explain the two main pathways to permanent residency for anyone who still holds a 457 visa.

When Was Your Visa Granted? 

You would be able to apply for permanent residency through these different streams if your visa was granted before 18 April 2017. This will be the case if you:

  • held a 457 visa before 18 April 2017; or
  • applied for a 457 visa before this date, even if you only received it later.

If you fulfil either of these criteria, you may be eligible for permanent residency through either the:

  • Temporary Residence Transition stream; or
  • Direct Entry stream.

Temporary Residence Transition Stream

To be eligible for permanent residency under the Temporary Residence Transition scheme, you must meet the criteria in the table below.

Criteria 

Eligibility

Occupation

You have employment in an occupation listed on either the:

  • short-term skilled occupation list; or
  • medium and long-term strategic skills list. 

Age

Under transitory arrangements, you can be up to 50 years old.

Work Experience

You need to have two years of work experience in your nominated occupation, with the same employer that is sponsoring you for permanent residency.

The Department of Home Affairs provides the short-term skilled occupation list and medium and long-term strategic skills list.

Examples of short-term skilled occupations include:

  • sales and marketing managers;
  • cafe or restaurant managers;
  • fashion designers; and
  • student counsellors.

Additionally, examples of occupations on the medium and long-term strategic skills list include:

  • construction project managers;
  • marine biologists;
  • software engineers; and
  • carpenters.

For example, you will be eligible to transition to permanent residency if you are a 48 year old marketing manager who has worked with the same company for the last two years and that same company is sponsoring your residency.

Direct Entry stream (DE)

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, you may still be able to gain residency through the Direct Entry scheme. You will need to fulfil the requirements in the table below.

Criteria 

Eligibility

Occupation

You must have employment in an occupation on the medium and long-term strategic skills list. If your occupation is on the short-term skilled occupation list, you will be ineligible.

Age

You must be under 45 years old.

Work Experience

You need to have three years of work experience in your nominated occupatio, but you do not need to be with the same employer over that time.

Skills Assessment

A third-party body will verify that you hold the necessary skills to work in your nominated occupation. This may involve holding: 

  • a specific bachelor degree; 
  • certificates; or 
  • a certain level of work experience.

English Competency

You must prove fluency in English by providing evidence:

  • of citizenship and a valid passport in New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland; or
  • that you have obtained certain test results for the English language in the past three years.

For example, you will be eligible for residency if you are a 43 year old software engineer from the United States, who holds a relevant bachelor degree and has worked for three different employers over the past three years. 

You Received Your Visa After 18 April 2017

If you applied for the 457 visa after 18 April 2017, you will be subject to the new arrangements that apply for 482 visa holders. This means that your occupation must be on the medium and long-term strategic skills list. 

You will not be eligible for permanent residency through employer sponsorship if your occupation is on the short-term skilled occupation list.

Temporary Residence Transition Stream or Direct Entry Stream

You can apply through either scheme. However, the criteria of the Direct Entry stream can be more challenging to satisfy, depending on your circumstances. Through the Temporary Residence Transition stream, you only need to have three years of work experience with the same employer.

Under the Direct Entry stream, you must:

  • have three years of work experience, which may be with one or multiple employers;
  • be under 45 years old;
  • speak competent English; and
  • pass the skills assessment.

Key Takeaways

Whether you are eligible for permanent residency as a 457 visa holder will depend on many factors, including:

  • if you held the 457 visa before 18 April 2017;
  • whether your occupation is on the short-term skilled occupation list or the medium and long-term strategic skills list;
  • your age;
  • years of experience in your nominated occupation;
  • competency in English; and
  • ability to pass the skills assessment.

These criteria will also determine whether you are best suited to apply under the Temporary Residence Transition stream or Direct Entry stream. If you would like advice on your options to transition to permanent residency, contact LegalVision’s immigration lawyers today on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page. 

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