Following DIBP commentary at the Migration Institute of Australia’s national conference in Melbourne last week, the DIBP has now officially shed some further light on the transitional arrangements that will apply to many people seeking employer-nominated permanent residence after the March 2018 round of legislative changes.
Specifically, the DIBP has now confirmed that people who held, or had applied for, a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 will be able to access certain existing provisions under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, specifically:
1. Occupation requirements remain the same (i.e. there is no specific ‘list’ or other restrictions on the nominated occupation as long as the nominee continues to work in the same position for the same employer as approved for their subclass 457 visa).
2. Despite the introduction of a universal age ceiling of 45 from next March, the upper age limit for those using the transitional arrangements will remain at 50.
3. There will be no additional work experience requirement imposed for this cohort, and the current requirement to have worked at least two out of the three years prior to nomination on a subclass 457 will remain in place.
The welcome announcement gives some clarity to those who stood to be adversely affected from a wholesale change in the eligibility requirements. However, the limited information does not address a number of key scenarios, such as:
– Whether applying for a 457 visa renewal (or subsequent TSS application) after April 18 will affect the grandfathering arrangements.
– Whether transferring to a new employer by way of a nomination lodged after 18 April 2017 will affect the grandfathering arrangements.
– Whether refused 457 applications that were overturned on appeal after 18 April will be able benefit from the grandfathering provisions.
It is also conceivable that pipeline 457 applications (lodged before 18 April but still undecided), could be affected if the nominated occupation is removed from the next list of ‘sponsorable’ occupations (slated for January 2018) before the nomination is finalised. This issue arises from the combined effect of changing lists, blowouts in DIBP processing times, and the fact that the nomination criteria requires the occupation to be on the gazetted list at the time of nomination decision (not at the time lodgement).
There are a number of other possible scenarios that have not been addressed as yet, and we expect to be able to provide further clarity in the days and weeks ahead.
For inquiries, please contact Alex Kaufman, Head of Migration at FCB Smart Visa at +612 9922 5188 or firstname.lastname@example.org