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Help! I’m on a 457 visa, what do I do now about PR? How do the changes affect me?

PLEASE NOTE: On March 18th, 2017, the 457 Visa was officially replaced with the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa which has different eligibility criteria and conditions. Learn more about the differences between the 457 and TSS visas here or get in touch with one of our migration agents to learn more.

If you’re on a 457 visa, and you were looking forward to Permanent Residence here are some scenarios that you may find yourself in after the recent changes to the occupation lists and the impending demise of the 457 visa scheme.

I will try to answer the questions/scenarios that must be raging through your minds if you’re currently holding a 457 visa….

(Before you proceed though I need to emphasise that we think you’d be foolish if you don’t consult a reputable Registered Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer and get professional advice with respect to your options. You’re unlikely to get a second bite of the PR apple if you muck up)

I

I have been on my 457 visa for 2 years or more with the same employer, and my employer is willing to nominate me for permanent residence.

We would advise you to get the employer’s nomination and visa application lodged as soon as possible, ensuring all the criteria are met.

II

I have not been on my 457 Visa for two years with my employer,  but I will have the two years before 1 March 2018.

We would advise that as soon as you have racked up two years with your employer, have your employer nominate you and lodge the visa application before 1 March 2018.

III

I have a 457 visa that expires after the new TSS visa comes into effect, but because I changed employers, I will not have worked two years with my new employer at the time my visa expires. My occupation is on the STSOL. My employer is willing to nominate me.

You must be professionally assessed to see when you meet the requirements for a skills assessment in your occupation, and if not, what actions, if any, can be taken to help you meet the requirements. If you do meet the skills requirements, and other criteria for the Subclass 186 visa – and your employer meets the employer requirements, you will be able to lodge an Employer Nominated Direct Entry Visa application.

Because your occupation is on the STSOL, you cannot transition to permanent residence after March 2018 if you’re the holder of a TSS visa. Also, you will only be able to apply for a  two year TSS visa, as your occupation in on the STSOL, not the MLTSOL. Your direct Entry nomination and visa application must be lodged as soon as possible but definitely by 1 March 2018.

Contact us  to discuss this situation if you find yourself in it, so that we can asses you for an alternative pathway that may not involve a skills assessment.

IV

I have had a 457 visa for less than two years and my occupation is no longer on the new lists.

You will not be able to apply for permanent residence via the Direct Entry Employer Nominated Visa, but if you have sufficient time left on your visa and can accrue 2 years with your employer (even, at this stage after March 2018*), you will be able to lodge a Subclass 186 Transitional visa. You may however have other options. Contact us without delay to discuss this scenario further.

V

I have a 457 visa that is about to expire. I don’t yet have two years with my employer, but would do if I could get another 457 visa.

If your occupation is on one of the lists, ask your employer to re-nominate you for a 457 visa (in the same occupation) and lodge a new 457 visa application before your current visa expires.  As soon as you have accumulated 2 years on your 457 visas, follow the advice at II above.

VI

I’m on a 457 visa and my occupation is on the MLTSOL, will I be able to transition to Permanent Residence after March 2018, because I will only have two years with my employer after that?

You should be able to transition to Permanent residence after March 2018 as the occupation lists do not apply to Employer nominations that are transitional (i.e where you have been with your employer for at least two years).

VII

I have a 457 visa which will expire after March 2018, but I won’t have two years with my employer at that time. My occupation is on the MLTSOL. My employer is willing to nominate me.

You could obtain a skills assessment in your occupation (if you have the necessary qualifications) and then lodge a Subclass 186 Direct Entry Visa application. Alternatively, you could apply for the new TSS visa, notch up three years with your employer, and transition to PR that way, keeping in mind that the new “Skilling Australia Fund” Levy will apply to nominating employers to the tune of between $3000 – $5000, depending on the size of the business.

VIII

I have another scenario you haven’t covered above.

Contact us on +61 3 9573 5200 or by email or we’ll book you in for a consultation, or you can book one yourself here.

If you were looking forward to PR via your 457 visa and your world has just been turned upside down, call us. Give yourself the best chance.

*At this stage, we think that the two year period required for a transitional Employer Nominated Visa will remain, but this has not yet been confirmed by the Minister. To transition to PR from the new TSS Visa, you will need three years with an employer and an Occupation on the MLTSOL.*