Expanding pathways to PR for temporary skilled sponsored workers
In a groundbreaking move, the Australian government is set to introduce significant changes to the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) and Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visas, aimed at simplifying the path to permanent residence for TSS visa holders.
These changes, slated to take effect from 25 November 2023, subject to regulatory approval, have the potential to reshape the country’s immigration landscape.
Key Highlights of the Reforms:
1. Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) Stream
- The removal of the existing limit on the number of Short-term stream TSS visa applications that visa holders can make within Australia.
- This change will apply to new TSS visa applications made on or after 25 November 2023. Importantly, Short-term stream TSS visa holders with visas expiring before this date will need to travel outside Australia to lodge a third Short-term stream TSS application.
2. Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) Temporary Residence Transition Stream
- Employers will gain the flexibility to nominate holders of all streams of TSS visas, including Short-term and Labour Agreement streams.
- The requirement for nominated occupations to be assessed against a skilled migration occupation list will be removed. Instead, the nominated occupation must be listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), with the nominated worker required to continue working in the occupation nominated for their TSS visa(s).
- The period of time a TSS visa holder must hold their visa and work in their nominated position or occupation to be eligible for TRT stream nomination by their employer will be reduced to two out of the three years before nomination.
3. TRT Stream Visa Application Reforms
- Age exemptions for regional medical practitioner applicants and high-income earners aged 45 years and over will be updated to allow for a two-year pathway.
- COVID-19 related age exemptions, which had been put in place, will become redundant as a result of the two-year pathway.
These sweeping changes are hailed as the first step toward granting more equitable access to Permanent Residence for all TSS visa holders. They align with the government’s broader migration strategy and respond to findings from the 2023 Review of the Migration System.
Australia is taking bold steps to attract and retain skilled workers, providing clarity and confidence to both employers and visa holders. As we approach the implementation date, stay tuned for further updates on the Department’s website.
This announcement marks a significant shift in Australia’s immigration landscape, promising new opportunities for skilled workers seeking permanent residence in this thriving nation.
- Department of Home Affairs, Australia