Senior management at the Department of Home Affairs have confirmed that they have provided a concession for time spent on a subclass 457 visa before applying for permanent residency, to 23 months, as opposed to the previous 24 month period required to be eligible to apply.
Under the grandfathering provisions for the subclass 457 visa, which was abolished on 18 April 2017, nominations lodged on or after 18 March 2018, and at any time until 18 March 2022 would still be considered under the 457 framework when applying for permanent residency.
The Department has confirmed that the minimum period an applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation/position as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years. However, decision makers can accept 23 months as having satisfied this requirement. This is to prevent inefficiencies resulting from the 457 visa expiring a few days short of applicants meeting the two year work requirement, necessitating obtaining a further TSS visa to complete the two years of time worked.
This amendment will save employers thousands of dollars in fees on new subclass 482 applications for sponsored employees who may have fallen short by as little as one day of qualifying for permanent residency. This additional application to meet the requirements for permanent residency would have cost companies at least $2,795, for an individual sponsored in an occupation on the short-term occupation list, working in a company that has an annual turnover of less than $10mil per annum. This cost would have ballooned to $11,210 for two adults and two children, including the subsequent temporary application charge and Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) levy for companies with a turnover of more than $10mil per annum.
Whilst policy has not been officially updated, Absolute Immigration has been advised that this measure will apply “as of immediate effect” and that the associated legislative change with Regulation 5.19 will be updated in “due course”.
The significance of this announcement is considerable given the division and uncertainty within the immigration advice industry. The conservative view held was that applicants with a two-year, subclass 482 visa, would not be eligible to apply for permanent residency without having to extend their existing visa through making a new visa application. Now that we have clarity in this area, sponsoring companies and applicants can now move forward with the knowledge that an additional month has been provided as a buffer for applicants who have previously fallen short of the eligibility period.
Absolute Immigration would suggest that sponsoring companies and visa applicants contact one of our Registered Migration Agents on 1300 227 658 to confirm eligibility for permanent residency and all other immigration matters.