The review of Australia’s migration system has seen the announcement of many changes to immigration. Another change coming into effect is the pathway to permanent residence for Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) holders.
Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Clare O’Neil MP, announced that by the end of 2023, all subclass 482 visa holders will be eligible to apply for permanent residence. The aim of this change is to provide employers and migrants with more certainty as well as help increase the skill level in the permanent skilled migration program.
The Subclass 482 Visa
The subclass 482 visa allows employers to sponsor suitably skilled foreign workers to fill positions where suitably skilled Australians can’t be found. The subclass 482 visa is made up of three streams, including:
- The short-term stream
- The medium-term stream
- The labour agreement stream
Each of these streams allows foreign nationals to live and work in Australia for a specified period. Currently, only those on the medium-term stream and the labour agreement stream are offered a pathway to permanent residence. The upcoming change will see those on the short-term stream able to apply for permanent residence via the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) Temporary Residence Transition stream.
The Australian government will also allow subclass 482 visa holders in short-term occupations to renew their visas indefinitely and reduce the required employment period before seeking permanent residence from three years to two years.
These changes are designed to provide fairer access to permanent residency in Australia.
Eligibility Criteria – subclass 482 visa
In order to be eligible for a subclass 482 visa, applicants must:
- Be nominated for a skilled position by an approved sponsor
- Have at least two years’ work experience in the nominated occupation or a related field
- Undertake a relevant skills assessment, if required
- Work only for their sponsor, unless exemptions apply
- Meet English language requirements, unless exemptions apply
In addition, for subclass 482 visa holders to be eligible to apply for permanent residence once the changes are introduced, they will need to work in their nominated occupation and only show a two-year employment period with the sponsoring employer.
The ability to apply for permanent residence while on any stream of the subclass 482 visa will be life-changing for many of these visa holders. Throughout the pandemic and not long after, many subclass 482 visa holders felt they were left in limbo.
SBS News reported last year of a French winemaker, ‘Bridget’ (not her real name) who was left devastated after finding out she was no longer eligible for permanent residence despite having lived and worked in regional Australia for three years. She was facing the prospect of having to return to France or having to try to find another pathway to permanent residence which could have taken years. ‘Bridget’ has just recently found out that she is now eligible to apply for permanent residence. While happy to hear the news she also couldn’t believe her good fortune. ‘First, I couldn’t believe it, that’s why I always need three sources; to make sure the information is correct. It takes a big weight off our shoulders, now you can make projects, now you know where your life is heading to, and all this [is] not for nothing.’  – Bridget.
Given the opportunity she has now been granted, ‘Bridget’ is happy she didn’t just throw it all in and leave Australia last year. There are many migrants who have found themselves in a similar position to ‘Bridget’.
If you would like to learn more about Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa or any other aspect of migration, contact the Visa Solutions Australia team and book a consultation.