In April 2018, the Australian government replaced the 457 visa with the subclass 482 (Temporary Skills Shortage) visa. If you are currently on a 457 visa, you maybe unsure of your future options for remaining in Australia. Requirements for new visa applicants under the 482 visa have been tightened, making the process more complex. However, existing 457 visa holders who either held their visa or were granted a 457 visa before 18 April 2017 are subject to transitional arrangements. This article will address some of the key questions and concerns that you may have as a 457 visa holder.

My 457 Visa Is About to Expire. What Should I Do?

If your 457 visa is about to expire, but you want to remain in the same position with the same employer, your employer will need to nominate you again under the new 482 (TSS) visa. This is provided that your occupation is on either the short term or medium/long term occupation list.

Otherwise, if you have been in the same occupation with the same employer for two years and you held a 457 visa before 18 April 2017, you can apply for permanent residency via the subclass 186 visa.

I Have a 457 Visa, But Want to Change My Employer

You will need to find a new employer that is an approved business sponsor. This employer will need to lodge a new 482 nomination application to sponsor you. If your 457 visa is still valid, you will not need to apply for a new visa.

If your visa is expiring soon, your new employer will need to make a new 482 nomination and visa application.

I Have a 457 Visa, But Want to Change Occupations

If you are currently on a 457 visa, you may wish to change your occupation. If so, your employer sponsor must lodge a new 482 TSS nomination for the new occupation. This occupation must be on the skilled occupations list (either on the short term list or on the medium/long term list).

However, if your visa is expiring, you will need to apply for a new visa. Importantly, you will need to meet the new requirements under the 482 nomination and visa. These requirements include that your employer has conducted labour market testing and that you have two years of relevant work experience in the nominated occupation.

Are the Requirements the Same for the 482 and 457 Visas?

One of the key changes from the 457 to the 482 visa scheme is that the requirements under the 482 visa are more stringent. Some of the new features of the 482 scheme include:

  • the introduction of a short term and medium/long term stream, each with different eligible occupations and requirements;
  • more restrictions to extensions of the 482 visa, especially if your nominated occupation is on the short term list;
  • greater restrictions on employers wishing to sponsor a worker on a 482 visa; and
  • that you must have two years of work experience in the nominated field to be eligible.

Even if you have previously received a 457 visa, you may not necessarily qualify for a 482 (TSS) visa. It is important to check your eligibility against the new criteria. It also may be worthwhile to have a registered migration agent prepare and submit your application.

I Have a 457 Visa, Can I Still Get Permanent Residency?

The most common pathway to permanent residency for 457 and 482 visa holders is to apply for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream. This is generally under the subclass 186 visa (Employer Nomination Scheme).

However, if the business is located in a regional area, you should apply for the subclass 187 visa (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme).

When the subclass 482 visa started, several changes were also made to the requirements of the 186 and 187 Visas. These changes included that:

  • the maximum age to apply for this visa was reduced from 50 years to 45 years;
  • the visa applicant’s nominated occupation must be listed;
  • there must be a minimum salary for 186 and 187 visa holders of $53,900; and
  • you must have a minimum of three years of relevant work experience.

Will These Changes to the 186 and 187 Visas Affect Me?

Any nomination application for a 186 or 187 visa lodged before 18 March 2018 will proceed under the old requirements.

In addition, there are some transitional arrangements in place to allow certain 457 visa holders the ability to apply for a 186 or 187 visa under the old requirements.

What Are the Transitional Arrangements?

If the transitional arrangements apply to you, then you can apply for a 186 or 187 visa under the old requirements.

Some of the old requirements include that:

  • there is no occupation list requirement. As long as you continue to work in the same position for the same employer that was approved for the 457 visa, you will be able to apply for the 186 or 187 visa;
  • the maximum age to apply for the 186 or 187 visa remains at 50; and
  • if you’re on a subclass 457 visa, you will only need to have two years of relevant work experience before being nominated on the 186 or 187 visas.

Can I Access the Transitional Arrangements?

If you either held a 457 visa on 18 April 2017 or were granted a 457 visa by 18 April 2018, you will likely be able to access the transitional arrangements. However, you must also hold:

  • a new subclass 457 visa;
  • the same subclass 457 visa;
  • a 482 (TSS) visa in the short term or medium term stream; or
  • a bridging visa related to a 457 or TSS visa application.

To access the old requirements, you must apply for a 186 or 187 visa under the Temporary Residence Transition Scheme by 18 March 2020.

Key Takeaways

There have been many changes to the 457 visa scheme. However, if you are still on a 457 visa, there are still options available for you to remain in Australia.

You can apply for a new 482 visa or apply for permanent residence under a 186 or 187 visa. However, you may also have other visa options that are specific to your situation. If you have any more questions about your Australian visa, contact LegalVision’s immigration lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form below.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.
Blythe Dingwall

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