***UPDATED***

Good news…

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has released details of the 457 visa transitional arrangements covering those impacted by the widespread reforms announced earlier this year.

 

457 visa grandfathering arrangements

If you’re a 457 visa holder, you’ve applied for one or you’re planning to apply for one before the scheme ends in March 2018, this article will tell you everything you need to know.

For many people (us included), the last six months have been an awful waiting game. Rumours were rife regarding grandfathering arrangements and lots of folk have been hanging in limbo, fearing that their plans of becoming Australian permanent residents had gone up in smoke.

These arrangements will provide a glimmer of hope to many 457 holders and applicants.

Summary of 457 visa grandfathering arrangements:

  • Anyone who held a 457 visa or applied for one before 18 April 2018 will benefit from some concessions under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream.
  • Occupation requirements remain the same. There are no restrictions as long as have worked your employer in the position approved under your 457 application. This means that list changes – even the removal of occupations – will not impact you.
  • The age requirement will remain at under 50 years for people who come under this grandfathering arrangement. For those not under the transitional arrangement, it will change to under 45 years.
  • The 457 work experience requirement is unchanged. This means that if you have worked for your sponsoring employer for two years on your 457 visa, you may be able to apply for PR through TRT. You can’t count work for your sponsor whilst on other visas (such as a student visa or a 417 Working Holiday visa) nor unpaid leave.

In a nutshell, for anyone who holds a 457 granted before 18 April 2017 or had applied for one (even though it was granted after 18 April 2017) things won’t change too much.

Read the full fact sheet on the 457 visa grandfathering arrangements here.

Now for the Detail…

This isn’t easy to grasp, so hold onto your hats.

Hopefully this blog will help to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the 457 changes and grandfathering agreements, but it doesn’t replace professional advice based on your individual situation. For a free consultation with a Registered Migration Agent, contact us directly and we will happily provide an assessment based on your circumstances.

Current 457 Visa Holders

457 holders GRANTED their visa before 18 April 2017 can apply for ENS TRT after two years of work on their 457 with the same sponsor, subject to the transitional arrangements outlined above (it’s basically exactly the same as it was, except for a few minor changes). The offered salary on your TRT PR visa will need to meet the TSMIT level and you must meet ‘Competent English’ requirements.

Competent English is required at the time of your TRT PR application and can be shown in one of the following ways:

  • IELTS test score of at least 6 in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening;
  • OET test score of at least B in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening; or
  • TOEFL iBT test score with at least the following scores in the four test components: 18 for speaking, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 12 for listening
  • PTE Academic test score of at least 50 in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening.
  • Advanced (CAE) test score of at least 169 in each of the four test components of listening, reading writing and speaking.
  • Holding a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland

An English language test exemption does exist for TRT applications.  You are exempt if you can demonstrate that you have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where all of the tuition was delivered in English.

 PR Eligibility Examples

A 28-year-old Training and Development Professional granted a four year 457 visa in May 2016 

YES, eligible for PR in May 2018 if they have been with the same employer for two years, working in the same job and they are under 50 years of age. This is the case even though the occupation of Training and Development Professional was removed from the lists earlier in 2017. Competent English is required. 

A 35-year-old Cook granted a four year 457 visa in September 2016 

YES, eligible for PR in September 2018 if they have been with same employer for two years, working in the same job and they are under 50 years. Competent English is required. 

 A 47-year-old Fitter and Turner granted a four year 457 in March 2017

YES, eligible for PR in March 2019 if they have been with same employer for two years, working in the same job and they are under 50 years of age. Competent English required. 

A 49-year-old Roof Tiler granted a four year 457 in April 2016

NO, not eligible for PR as they will be over 50 after working two years on the 457 visa. 

Applications Lodged Before 18 April and Granted After

 457 visa holders who APPLIED FOR their visa before 18 April 2017 (even though their 457 was granted AFTER 18 April) can apply for ENS TRT after two years with their employer, subject to the transitional arrangements (pretty much exactly the same as it was, except you need to meet Competent English requirements and need to be offered TSMIT on TRT).

This includes 457 visa holders in STSOL occupations who can meet TRT by one of the following: 

  • Lodging their TRT application on the final day of their 457 visa (if they were in Australia when it was granted and commenced work on the 457 on the day it was granted, have not taken unpaid leave, under 50 years and working in the same occupation as nominated)

OR

  • Working on their two year STSOL 457 visa and then lodging a two year TSS visa after March 2018. They can then combine their two visas to meet the TRT requirement of “working for the sponsor for two of the past three years”. They will also need to be under 50 and working in the same occupation as nominated 

PR Eligibility Examples

A 28-year-old Cafe and Restaurant Manager lodged a 457 visa in January 2017 and was granted a two year 457 visa (STSOL) on 23 June 2017. The applicant was in Australia on 417 visa when 457 granted and has not taken unpaid leave. 

YES, eligible for TRT on 23 June 2019 if they’ve been with same employer for two years, working in the same job and they’re under 50 years. Competent English required.

A 45-year-old Primary School Teacher lodged a 457 visa in March 2017 and was granted a two year 457 visa (STSOL) on 28 August 2017. The applicant was offshore and arrived in Australia and commenced work on 1 October 2017. 

YES, eligible for TRT on 1 October 2019 BUT will need to apply for (and be granted) a two year TSS visa and combine the two to meet the “two of the past three years on a 457/TSS visa” requirement. They’re under 50 so still meet the age requirements. They must have worked in the nominated occupation for two years. Competent English required. 

A 27-year-old Quantity Surveyor lodged a 457 visa in February 2017 and was granted a four-year 457 visa (MLTSSL) on 10 July 2017.

YES, eligible for TRT on 10 July 2019. The applicant does not need a further temporary visa. The applicant meets the age requirement and has worked in the nominated occupation for the two years. Competent English required.

A 46-year-old Mechanical Engineer lodged a 457 visa in February 2017 and was granted a four-year 457 visa (MLTSSL) on 10 August 2017.

YES, eligible for TRT on 10 August 2019. The applicant does not need a further temporary visa. The applicant meets the age requirement (under 50 at the time of lodging TRT) requirement and has worked in the nominated occupation for the two years. Competent English required. 

Applied for a 457 Visa After the Changes?

457 visa holders who APPLIED for their 457 visa AFTER 18 April 2017 can apply for ENS TRT after three years with their sponsoring employer, BUT WON’T be covered by transitional arrangements.

This includes 457 visa holders in STSOL occupations. These visa holders can meet TRT by working on their two year STSOL 457 visa and then lodging (and having granted) a two year TSS visa in/after March 2018. They can then combine their two visas to meet the “three-year of work on a 457/TSS visa” requirement.

Examples

A 24-year-old Swimming Coach lodged a 457 in July 2017 and granted a two-year 457 in September 2017 (STSOL occupation)

YES, eligible for PR in September 2020 if they apply for (and are granted) another two-year visa (TSS) and use both visas to meet the “three years on a 457/TSS visa” requirement. Competent English required. Aged under 45 years.

A 31-year-old Dairy Farmer who lodged a 457 application in May 2017 and was granted a two-year 457 in October 2017 (STSOL occupation)

YES, eligible for PR in October 2020 if they apply for (and are granted) another two-year visa (TSS) and use both visas to meet the “three years on a 457/TSS visa” requirement. Competent English required. Aged under 45 years.

A 30-year-old Bricklayer who lodged a 457 in August 2017 and was granted a four-year 457 in November 2017 (MLTSSL occupation)

YES, eligible for PR in November 2020. The applicant does not need to apply for a TSS visa, and they will reach the three years of work requirement whilst on the four year 457 visa. Competent English required. Aged under 45 years.

A 43-year-old Fitter and Turner who lodged a 457 in June 2017 and was granted a four-year 457 in October 2017 (MLTSSL occupation)

NO, not eligible for PR as they will be 45 or over after working three years on the 457 visa. 

TSS Visa Holders

TSS visa holders (applications from March 2018 when the 457 ends) in MLTSSL occupations (holders of a four year visa) will be eligible for TRT after three years with their employer (must be under 45 and demonstrate Competent English).

TSS holders (applications from March 2018 when the 457 ends) in STSOL occupations (holders of two year visa) will NOT eligible for PR. They can only for a second onshore TSS visa. In some circumstances, they may be able depart Australia and apply for a further visa whilst offshore.

Free Assessment

The best course of action you can take now is to contact a Registered Migration Agent and check your eligibility. We offer free assessments and recommend the best route to PR for you (if you’re eligible). Don’t waste any time. Act now and you just might get your PR after all.