The Australian immigration landscape is undergoing significant changes, particularly in the realm of employer-sponsored permanent residency programs. Set to take effect on November 25, 2023, the Department of Home Affairs is implementing reforms that will impact Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) 482 visa holders, offering them a pathway to permanent residency under the 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa program.
TSS 482 Short-Term to PR 186 Visa Changes:
Implementation Date: The reforms are scheduled for implementation on November 25, 2023.
Access to Permanent Residency: Short-term TSS 482 visa holders will gain access to permanent residency under the 186 TRT stream of the ENS visa program.
All TSS 482 visa holders are eligible for ENS visas sponsored by their employers.
Applicants must continue working in the nominated occupation for their TSS visa(s).
Sponsored visa holders can apply for ENS TRT after two years (down from three years) of sponsorship on a TSS by their employer.
The limit on Short-Term stream TSS visa applications made onshore has been removed temporarily.
From November 25, 2023, individuals can submit more than two short-term TSS extension applications without restrictions.
Employers can nominate individuals in TSS visa streams for subclass186 visas (employer-sponsored permanent residence) from November 25, 2023.
Nominations are applicable to both short-term and Labor Agreement streams, provided the visa holder has been employed for at least two out of the last three years in the nominated occupation.
Occupation Criteria Change:
Nominated occupations for ENS visa applications will no longer be based on the skilled occupation list.
The new requirement is that the nominated occupation needs to be listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations dictionary (ANZSCO).
Regional medical practitioners and high-income applicants aged 45 and above gain access to age exemption provisions after two years (reduced from three years).
All new 186 nominations must meet the new Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of $70,000.
Implications of the Changes:
These reforms mark a crucial shift in the Australian immigration framework, offering several advantages to skilled workers on the TSS 482 visa:
Expanded Eligibility: Skilled workers in both Medium Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) occupations can now transition to permanent residency.
Reduced Employment Duration: The period of employment with the sponsoring employer is reduced to two years, providing a quicker pathway to permanent residency.
Government’s Commitment: These changes align with the government’s commitment to addressing skills shortages, streamlining migration, and bolstering Australia’s competitiveness on the global stage.
Higher Income Threshold for Employer Sponsored Visas:
In addition to the visa reforms, the financial year 2023-24 brings a significant update in the form of a higher Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), increased from $53,900 to $70,000, effective from July 1, 2023.
As Australia adapts its immigration policies to meet evolving needs, these changes offer new opportunities and a streamlined pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers. Stay informed and prepare for the shifting landscape as the government strives to enhance the country’s skills profile and economic recovery post