Australia - Transitional Arrangements to Apply to Certain Subclass 457 Visa Holders Applying for Permanent Residence from March 2018

Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced transitional arrangements of subclass 457 visa holders applying for permanent residence under the Temporary Residence Transition stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme from March 2018.

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Nov 17, 2017
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The situation 
  
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) has updated its fact sheet on the planned reforms to the permanent employer sponsored migration program to include changes to the proposed transitional arrangements for certain Subclass 457 visa holders applying for permanent residence. 

A closer look

These changes will have an impact on the eligibility of applicants who lodge their applications from March 2018 under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).

Requirements for certain Subclass 457 visa holders

The updated fact sheet now states that from March 2018, foreign nationals who held, or had applied for, a Subclass 457 visa as at April 18, 2017 will be able to access certain existing provisions under the TRT stream as follows:

  • Occupation requirements remain the same (i.e. There are no restrictions as long as the nominee continues to work in the same position for the same employer as approved for their subclass 457 visa);
  • The age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age; and
  • The work experience requirement, and the requirement to have worked at least two out of the three years prior to nomination on a subclass 457, will remain at two years.

Training levy requirement

Any ENS or RSMS nomination made using these transitional arrangements will be required to meet the following new training levy which will replace the current training benchmark requirements:

  • Businesses with turnover of less than AUD 10 million per year will be required to make a one-off payment of AUD 3,000 for each employee being sponsored for an ENS or RSMS visa;
  • Businesses with turnover of AUD 10 million or more per year will be required to make an upfront payment of AUD 5,000 for each employee being sponsored for an ENS or RSMS visa.

 
What this means for employees

The proposed transitional arrangements will benefit employees aged 45 but below 50 years of age who held, or had applied for, a Subclass 457 visa as at April 18, 2017. These employees will continue to have an eligibility pathway for ENS or RSMS under the TRT stream post March 2018. However, they will likely be subject to the new training levy framework. 

It is still unclear whether the existing age exemptions for applicants aged 50 and over under the current ENS and RSMS will be extended to Subclass 457 visa holders post March 2018. 

Fragomen is closely monitoring the release of information and will provide further updates once available.


This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to fragomenclientcorrespondence@fragomen.com

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