The Australian Government’s legislative updates on November 25, 2023, have forged a path to permanent residency for numerous Subclass 482 visa holders. Additionally, many COVID-19 concessions for employer-sponsored and other visas have been rescinded.
Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (482) Visa:
The sole change is lifting restrictions on the number of short-term 482 visas while in Australia. Despite this positive amendment, the ‘Genuine Temporary Entrant’ criterion remains a consideration at each renewal.
Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa:
Amendments to the Temporary Residence Transitional stream now encompass most 482 visa holders. Eligibility requirements include possessing a relevant ANZSCO occupation code, nominating a position within the same ANZSCO group, holding a 457/482 visa for two years, and working in the nominated role for two of the past three years on a full-time basis in Australia. Standard ENS criteria also apply, including age, English proficiency, salary, health, and character prerequisites.
Age Exemptions for Applicants over 45:
Exemptions for regional medical practitioners and high-income earners are now aligned with the 2-year transitional pathway. The ‘Legacy 457 worker’ group has until June 30, 2024, to apply for the transitional ENS visa if they are over 45 years old.
On-Hire Labour Agreement Workers:
There is no change for 482 visa holders under On-Hire Labour Agreements regarding meeting ENS requirements, as the need for the nominating business to employ the person directly persists.
No changes to the ENS Direct Entry pathway or the Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa have been implemented. A substantial number of 482 visa holders are now likely eligible for ENS visas, prompting businesses to consider policies to support these applications.