The Australian Government has announced that it will implement changes to the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) and Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visas, starting from November 25, 2023. These changes aim to provide a simpler and more transparent pathway to permanent residence for TSS visa holders and ensure that Australia attracts and retains skilled workers.
Changes to the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) Visa
One significant change planned for subclass 482 involves removing the limit on the number of short-term streams TSS visa applications allowed for visa holders in Australia. This update will apply to new TSS visa applications made on or after November 25, 2023. However, short-term stream TSS holders whose visas expire before the specified date will need to travel outside Australia to lodge their third short-term stream TSS application.
Adjustments to the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) TRT Stream
Several modifications are also set for TRT stream nomination requirements, such as:
- Allowing employers to nominate holders of all streams of TSS visas.
- Removal of the obligation to examine the positions nominated in the TRT group against the Foreign Intelligence Agency.
- Reducing the period that a TSS visa holder must hold their visa and work in their nominated position or occupation before being eligible for nomination by their employer within the TRT stream.
These changes are intended to apply to new ENS and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme nomination applications, as well as applications that have yet to be determined on November 25, 2023.
Updated TRT Stream Visa Application Requirements
Further amendments regarding TRT stream visa application requirements include:
- Updating age exemptions for regional medical practitioner applicants and high-income-earning applicants aged 45 years and over, introducing a two-year pathway.
- Ending COVID-19 related age exemptions made redundant by the two-year pathway.
Work-Related Visa Categories
- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: Designed for skilled workers nominated by state or territory governments, this visa allows individuals to live and work in regional Australia.
- Temporary Work (International Relations) visa: This temporary visa is granted for work conducted under specific circumstances that contribute to the improvement of Australia’s international relations.
- Skilled Regional visa: For those who have previously lived and worked in specific regional areas of Australia on an eligible visa, this pathway provides an opportunity for permanency.
- Skilled Nominated visa: Nominated skilled workers can acquire permanent residency with this visa, which allows them to live and work in Australia.
- Employer Nomination Scheme visa: Skilled workers nominated by their employer can secure permanent residency with this option, allowing them to live and work freely in Australia.
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa: Skilled employees nominated by their regional employer can apply for this permanent residency option.
- Temporary Skill Shortage visa: Employers can sponsor skilled workers temporarily through this option if they cannot find a suitable Australian candidate for the position.
- Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa – Highly Specialised Work stream: Aimed at applicants possessing highly specialized skills not readily available in Australia, this temporary option grants permission for short-term work activities.
- Skilled-Recognised Graduate visa: Recent engineering graduates from designated institutions can live, work, or study in Australia for up to 18 months with this option. Applicants must be under 31 years old and have completed their degree within the past two years.
- Travel as an Australian Permanent Resident: Permanent residents must ensure their travel facility on their PR visa is valid when reentering Australia, as they do not possess an automatic right of entry.
Australian Citizenship Eligibility
To be considered for citizenship by conferral, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Reside in Australia on a valid visa for at least four years before applying.
- Hold a permanent visa or a Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) for a minimum of 12 months before applying.
- In the past four years, absences from Australia should not exceed 12 months, with no more than 90 days of absence during the last 12-month period before applying.
Navigating the various pathways to Australian PR and citizenship may seem overwhelming at first, but with proper guidance and understanding, individuals can find an option that best aligns with their skills and circumstances.
The Australian Government’s planned changes to the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) and Temporary Residence Transition stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visas demonstrate a commitment to simplifying the pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers. By removing restrictions on the number of applications and adapting nomination requirements, these modifications aim to attract and retain foreign talents by offering a transparent and efficient process for obtaining Australian permanent residency. Those seeking such opportunities should stay updated on these visa policy changes and understand the eligibility criteria for Australian citizenship.