Grandfathering Deadline

To all of our clients holding subclass 457 visas, it is essential that you understand the timing of your permanent residence options.  Transitional provisions, commonly referred to as grandfathering provisions, are available to people who held, or had applied for, a Subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017.

As a holder or application of a subclass 457 visa at that time, you can access certain provisions under the Temporary Residence Transition stream:

  • Occupation requirements remain the same (i.e. there are no restrictions as long as you continue to work in the same position as approved for your Subclass 457 visa);
  • The age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age; and
  • The work experience requirement will remain as two out of the three years on a Subclass 457 visa.

Changing Occupations or Employers

Eligible 457 or 482 visa holders will have access to PR under these grandfathering provisions until 18 March 2022.  Although this date may seem like it’s still a long time, we need to be mindful of the implications of any changes in employers or occupations of any eligible visa holders.  It is important to remember that:

  • If the nominated occupation is on the Short-term Skill Occupation List (STSOL), they will no longer have access to permanent residency by way of Employer Nomination;
  • Generally, applicants over the age of 45 will no longer be eligible (unless age exemption applies);
  • The work experience required to work in your nominated occupation for your nominating employer will be three years.

If you are an eligible 457 or 482 visa holder and you are changing employers or occupations, to ensure that they would still have access to grandfathering provisions, the following must all apply:

  • Position Transfer is approved before 18 March 2020; and
  • The nominee must commence employment before 18 March 2020; and
  • The nominee must have worked for the nominating entity for at least 2 years excluding any leave without pay; and
  • The Employer Nomination must be lodged before 22 March 2022.

Submissions addressing the current Skilled Occupations List

As many of our clients are aware, the SOL review has now commenced and the Department is currently consulting with businesses, relevant industries and individuals to ensure that the SOL reflect genuine skills needs that will allow employers to temporarily employ overseas workers to meet their business needs.

This review provides stakeholders with an opportunity to make submissions and advance evidence around your business’ current experiences with the Temporary Skills Shortage program and how the particulars around the STSOL and MLTSSL have been affecting your staffing profile.

The Department has published a Traffic Light Bulletin which will flag the occupations that may be added, removed or moved between the STSOL and MLTSSL, in December 2019.  Following the release of the bulletin, interested stakeholders are open to provide submissions until February 2020.  The next update to Australia’s skilled migration occupation lists is scheduled to be announced in March 2020.

Based on the proposed SOL review, the STSOL, MLTSSL and ROL will continue to be in place, which means that only overseas skilled workers whose nominated occupation is on the MLTSSL or ROL will have access to permanent residency.

To ensure that overseas skilled workers will have the opportunity to apply for Australian permanent residency, it would be optimal that nominated occupations are listed on MLTSSL.

However, as the Government bi-annually updates the SOL, occupations that are on the MLTSSL may still be moved to the STSOL or be completely removed from the SOL in the future.

The SOL changes significantly impact the business and we recommend that interested stakeholders put forward a submission highlighting the following concerns for their respective business:

  • The business has observed a significant decline in quality candidates for the nominated occupation.
  • The business has observed that the decline in the quality of candidates has not been resolved by the training currently available by Australian education providers.
  • The business has been significantly impacted as the frequency of occupation changes disrupt business planning and management of employees.
  • The business has invested time and training employees but will lose employees after two years.
  • Many overseas skilled workers are no longer attracted to apply for positions in Australia due to job instability and lack of access to permanent residency. This has resulted in a loss of high-quality candidates who have opted to apply outside of Australia.

As some of our clients have occupations that are affected, we are putting forward a submission to highlight how the changes will adversely impact the business and provide recommendations protecting the businesses’ operations and employees’ interests.

Feel free to reach out to Fiona Wong or Troy Andres if you would like further information.

Latest Round of EOI Invites

DHA Invitation Round

Department of Home Affairs has published the results of the Jan 2020 invitation round.

189 invitations issued: 1000

491 invitations issued: 300

If you are interested to learn more about anything appearing in this alert, feel free to reach out to one of our consultants.