February 12th, 2018

Employer sponsored visas from March 2018 – two important observations

Employer sponsored visas from March 2018.

    As most people would know, the immigration department will make significant changes to company sponsored visas from March. The most significant of which is 2 years work experience required for the temporary visa and 3 years work required for the new permanent visa.

    What has been important is seeing what transitional requirements or exemptions will be given to those people who have already applied for the permanent visa (and not yet granted) or those who held or had applied for a 457 visa on 18th April 2017. When the changes were first announced.

    DIBP/DHA have continually amended some of the important advice around this and we would like to bring two points to your attention. Both good news if our interpretation is correct.

    DIBP website – No transitional arrangements are in place for Direct Entry (DE) stream applicants who are expected to meet the requirements in place at time of application. New requirements will not be applied to pipeline applications.

    Iscah comment – we take this as confirming that if you have applied for a direct entry 186 or 187 (RSMS) application that has not yet been decided, that if your occupation comes off the list in March 2018, you can STILL be approved.

    DIBP Website – Client held a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 and continues to hold this visa or a 457/TSS visa/related bridging visa at time of application
    or
    Client lodged a subclass 457 visa application on or before 18 April 2017 which was subsequently granted and continues to hold this visa or a 457/TSS visa/related bridging visa at time of application.

    New requirements apply subject to the transitional provisions outlined below:
    – occupation list requirements will not apply;
    – the age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age with existing age exemptions still available; and
    – the minimum period an applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years.

    Iscah comment – We interpret this as if you have applied for a 457 before 18 April 2017 (even for an occupation only on the STSOL such as cook, restaurant manager etc) you can still apply for a permanent visa after 2 years. Even if you have to apply for a further extension of your 457/TSS visa. This will be especially important for those 457 holders who only were given 18 months on their 457 visa from new start up companies.

    We will have to see the legislation when it is tabled in parliament but at least it now gives some hope to those two groups of people that they will be protected from these harsh changes.

    The actual link to this information is here –
    https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/newsletters/january-2018

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