24 Jan, 2022 | 12:05 PM]
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15 min read
The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Multicultural Affairs, and Migrant Services in Australia Alex Hawke announced various changes to the following Subclass Visas in a media release:
- Subclass 457 Visa
- Subclass 482 Visa
- Subclass 485 Visa
- Subclass 462 Visa
Australia PR Visa pathway for current Subclass 457 and Subclass 482 Visa holders
On March 18th, 2018, the Subclass 457 Visas were eliminated and replaced by the Subclass 482 Visa that has 3 streams in it:
- Medium-term Stream
- Short-term Stream
- Labor Agreement Stream
With this the natural route to Australia PR Visa, the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme - ENS Visa was also ended. It was a useful stream for many who were unable to obtain sponsorship on the STSOL - Short-term Skilled Occupation List. This group was offered the Subclass 482 Visa through the Short-term Stream.
The reason was that only those who received sponsorship in an occupation on the MLTSSL can access the route to the Subclass 186 ENS Visa. The reason is that the occupation list of this Visa consists of all occupations under MLTSSL 482 Visa stream.
The exemption to the occupation list for the 186 Visa is for specific workers who had or successfully applied for the 457 Visa as of March 17th, 2017. It is referred to as transitional provisions that are scheduled to lapse on March 18th, 2022. Those who possess the Subclass 482 Visa through the Labor Agreement category can also qualify for a Subclass 186 Visa. This is provided the labor agreement of their employer consists of this provision.
The Subclass 482 Visa holders are required to have faith in receiving an invitation for a GSM - General Skilled Migration Visa and remain at the mercy of the varying whims of the State and Territory Governments. This is except if they received sponsorship for a regional area in the Short-term stream and qualified for the Subclass 494 Provisional Regional Skilled Employer-Sponsored Visa. GSM figures have declined since 2020, invitations are a handful, and selection criteria are even tougher.
The border closures due to pandemic and acute shortages of skills resulted in the launch of the special Visa – Temporary Activity Subclass 408 Visa. This was through the endorsed events stream of the Government of Australia. It is now apparent that the policy of decreasing skilled permanent immigration to Australia might have backfired.
Alex Hawke made the announcement of two very crucial changes that are bound to benefit roughly 20,000 Visa holders under Subclass 482 and 457. The measures are aimed at the betterment of Australia PR Visa access to:
- Subclass 482 Visa holders under the Short-term stream
- Subclass 457 Visa holders who no more fulfill the age criteria
The precise implications of this announcement cannot be defined at present as any amending policies are yet to be passed. The possibilities under the proposed amendments could include:
Expansion or abolition of the occupation list for 186 Visa for all who had or has a 482 Visa under the Short-term stream on a specific day
The age exception for transitional 457 Visa workers less than 50 years is increased or completely removed
Owing to the turmoil in the labor markets and businesses in Australia for the past 2 years, it is also likely that the transitional arrangements are extended further than March 18, 2022.
Temporary Skill Shortage Subclass 482 Visa
The Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa is a Work Visa that permits employers in Australia to sponsor overseas nationals for working in their business in Australia. Launched on March 19, 2019, the TSS Visa replaced the Subclass 457 Temporary Work Visa. It has three streams under as discussed earlier.
You can qualify for the TSS Visa if you possess the skills required for a job opening with an employer in Australia who is seeking to hire. The applicable stream can be chosen through a reference from the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List.
The maximum validity duration of your TSS Visa will be 2 years if you qualify for an occupation present in the Short-term stream. The maximum validity duration of your TSS Visa will be 4 years if you qualify for an occupation present in the Medium-term stream.
The eligibility requirements to apply for the Subclass 482 TSS Visa
The common requirements for the Subclass 482 Visa are as follows:
- Your occupation is present on the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List.
- You must receive a nomination for a job opening from an employer in Australia who seeks to hire you for that occupation.
- You must have the suitable qualifications and skills for your occupation.
- You must have a minimum of 2 years of work experience in your occupation.
- You must possess vocational proficiency in the English language.
- You have to fulfill the good Health and Character requirements specified by the DHA.
- You possess a Bridging Visa C, B, or A or a Substantive Visa and you have adhered to the Visa conditions.
Changes to Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa
A number of changes will be implemented for the Subclass 485 Visa which will be in favor of overseas students and these are:
- Permitting Replacement 485 Visa applications for those who have been impacted by the travel curbs
- Increasing the Visa duration for those pursuing Vocational courses (at present 18 months) or Coursework Master’s (at present 3 years)
- Easing requirements for vocational graduates can include eliminating the requirement for a provisional skills assessment or offering this Visa for more occupations
- Extension of current provisions acknowledging time spent studying overseas getting counted towards the Australia study requirement
Finally, Skilled Regional Visas will be extended for around 9,000 plus Visa holders stranded overseas. These include:
- Provisional Skilled Regional Subclass 489 Visa
- Provisional Regional Skilled Work Subclass 491 Visa
- Provisional Regional Skilled Employer-Sponsored Subclass 494 Visa
It will offer these Visa holders the extra time for fulfilling employment and residency requirements for their respective Australia PR Visa.
Switzerland included in Work and Holiday Subclass 462 Visa Program
Switzerland will be included in the Work and Holiday Subclass 462 Visa Program with effect from January 1, 2022. The mutual arrangement is that Australians will not require a Swiss Visa. Switzerland becomes the 45th nation to have a program for cultural exchange with Australia.
The upper age limit of Swiss nationals for Subclass 462 Visa application is 30 years. It has still not been announced if they will be subject to yearly quotas similar to other nations in this Visa program. The only exception is the US that does not have a yearly quota limit.
Work and Holiday Subclass 462 Visa is a provisional Visa that permits individuals in the age group 18 to 30 years to have an extended holiday while working for supporting themselves on their vacation for 12 months. Individuals who had held the Visa earlier or hold one currently can apply for a 2nd or 3rd WH Visa subject to fulfillment of specific eligibility conditions.
Requirements for Work and Holiday Subclass 462 Visa mandate the applicants to:
- Be a national of an eligible nation
- Be in the age group 18 to 30 years
- Possess adequate funds for supporting themselves
- Fulfill the requirements for education and English language
- Fulfill the requirements for Character and Health
As a Work and Holiday Subclass 462 Visa holder, you are permitted to:
- Take up short-term employment for your vacation expenses
- Study for a maximum of 4 months
- Arrive at and exit from Australia any number of times as you wishes
The Work and Holiday Subclass 462 Visa application for Australia immigration can be filed online if this is your first application and you must be residing overseas. If you already have a WH 462 Visa you can apply for your second visa from within Australia. Ensure confirming if applications are currently open from your nation of Passport before applying.
You must also offer proof of adequate funds for supporting your stay duration in Australia. Proof of having adequate cash for purchasing a departure ticket at the end of the Visa must be provided or that the ticket has been already booked.
Providing evidence is not required if you are submitting an application from within Australia. Processing can get delayed if you are applying from overseas and do not attach proof with the application. This is because the Immigration authorities can seek additional information from you.
Nationwide Visas has assisted several candidates in obtaining various Australia Subclass Visas and immigrating to Australia. Our Immigration Consultants thoroughly assess your profile and advice you on the most suitable pathway to obtain Australia PR Visa. For any queries or doubts regarding Australia immigration or your Visa application, book a consultation with our Immigration Experts today.
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