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Changes announced to the Permanent Employer Nomination Visa (Subclass 186) in Australia may alloow temporary visa holders to apply for a permanent employer visa when they originally would not have been able to. This is good news for people who have been in the country during the pandemic and are looking to migrate to Australia indefinitely.

Understand the Australian sponsorship visa:

Back in 2017 and 2018, massive changes were announced for the sponsorship visa 457: it was abolished and replaced by the 482 visa, which is also a temporary sponsorship visa.

The 457 was a great option for businesses to sponsor overseas professionals, allowing them to work full-time, plus it could lead to permanent residence 2 years later via the Permanent Employer 186 visa, regardless of the applicant’s occupation.

Even though many changes were implemented over the years to strenghten the integrity of this visa program, the 457 visa  was being “abused” to an extent so the Department decided to change the program and replace the 457 with the 482 TSS visa.

The 482 TSS Australian Visa:

The requirements for applying for 482 visa in Australia remained pretty much the same. However, the main difference between the 457 and the 482 two sponsorship visas is that not everyone who is granted a 482 visa can later apply for an employer permanent visa. The 482 visa is granted under 2 different Streams, determined by the occupation being nominated and to which Occupation List it belongs:

Medium-term Stream for occupations in the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
– Shoter-term Stream for occupations in the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)

In practice, the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) is for occupations in high demand. Someone who is granted a 482 visa under this Stream will have a four-year visa to live in Australia and work full-time, plus the possibility of applying for the Permanent Employer visa 186 after 3 years of working for the same employer in the same occupation.

The Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) on the other hand, was dedicated to include occupations not so much in demand, where the visa holder will still be able to live and work in Australia for two years (possibly extending it to another two years). However, those whose occupations are in this list, initially cannot apply for a Permanent Employer Visa after 2 years.

Consequences for the industry and why change again?

Since the 482 visa replaced the 457, business chambers, industry bodies, the Migration Institute of Australia and business leaders have been lobbying the Government to go back to how it was before, since we now more than ever need skilled workers in Australia for the long run: when the pandemic hit Australia, and our borders were closed for almost two years, we didn’t welcome any temporary visa holders who could fill highly skilled positions in the country.

The consequence is that we don’t have enough people to work in all kinds of industries right now, and businesses are desperate for professionals in all fields.

The Government finally realized that we need people to work, we need to keep talented and skilled professionals in Australia. And the best way to do that is to change legislation in relation to the permanent employer visas.

What are the changes to the Australian 482 visa and the permanent 186 employer visa now?

On the 21st of March, the Government finally expanded the options for people to apply for a permanent employer visa, coming from a 482 sponsorship visa.

People who were in Australia between February 2020 and December 2021 – for at least 12 months cumulatively – and who are nominated by their Sponsors for a 186 visa after holding a 482 sponsorship visa for 3 years, may be able to apply for a Permanent Employer Nomination Visa, even if their occupation is on the short term list.

If you think that’s your case, please contact us, and we can look at your scenario, the legislation and create a plan for you to apply for the PR!

Check out our YouTube video to understand more about the 482 visa changes for 2022: