We received a number of great questions from HR professionals and business owners about employee pathways to permanent residency during our recent seminar on the 457 visa changes.
One of the main impacts of the 457 visa changes for businesses has been the reduced ability to secure permanent residency for employees. Previously all employees on a 457 visa had a pathway to permanent residence, however the recent changes generally mean only employees with an occupation listed on the Medium and Long Term Skilled Occupation List will have a pathway to permanent residence from March 2018. The government has advised transitional arrangements will be provided for people that held 457 visas at the time of the announced changes, however it is not yet clear what these arrangements will be.
One question posed to us was: “Is it possible for an employee to apply for a subclass 400 visa to test if they liked the work before applying for a long-term or permanent visa?”
During the seminar, we explained that a subclass 400 visa is designed for temporary specialist work on a one-off basis that is generally not ongoing. In inviting an applicant to come to Australia to work on a 400 visa, a business must confirm that the work is highly specialised and not ongoing.
However, if ongoing work is identified during the period that the 400 visa holder is in Australia, the applicant could potentially apply for a long term or permanent visa during their stay because the 400 visa is generally an eligible visa from which to apply for a subclass 457, 186 or 189 visa. It all depends upon the applicant’s ability to satisfy the criteria of those visas.
Another great question was, “Can a 457 or Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa (TSS) visa be renewed more than once under the Short Term Stream?”
For a 457 visa, the answer is yes – there is no current legislative limit to the number of times you can obtain a 457 visa, however once the TSS visa rules are implemented from March 2018, the number of renewals will depend on whether the applicant is on the ‘Short Term’ or ‘Medium and Long Term’ stream of the TSS visa.
From our understanding, those on a Short-Term stream TSS visa will only be able to renew their visa once and any further renewals will be subject to strict limitations and Departmental discretion. Those with occupations listed on the Medium and Long term skilled occupations list however, are able to renew their TSS visas for an additional four year visa period (or apply for permanent residency if desired).
Below is a comparison of a few of the differentiating factors between the Short Term Stream and the Medium-Long Term Stream of the 457 visa.
Business Migration | Strategic Thinking
Want more Business Migration Q&A’s? Find out our answers to questions about the new English language requirements for 457 visas or read about the questions businesses asked us about working holiday visas and possible pathways to the new 457 work visa and the removal of Perth from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).
You can also view the slides from our seminar on the 457 visa changes. If you have any queries about how the 457 visa changes impact you or your business, we encourage you to contact Interstaff’s registered migration agents at [email protected] or on 08 9221 3388.