Can existing 457 Visa Holders Stay in Australia?

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In April 2018, after a transition period replete with complexity and confusion, the Australian government replaced the 457 (Temporary Work Skilled) visas with a new 482 (Temporary Skills Shortage) visa. This blog outlines crucial information for current 457 visa holders. The two schemes are significantly different from one another, and it is often harder to qualify for a 482 visa. Keep reading to learn what this means for current 457 visa holders. If you require further assistance, then contact Owen Hodge Lawyers to speak to an experienced immigration lawyer Sydney residents trust.


457 visa holders

For all current 457 visa holders, you should not delay in figuring out what to do and whether you can stay and work in Australia. You may have several different options depending on the details of your situation. 457 visa holders should be aware, however, that there are serious consequences for both the lapsed visa holder and any employer in an overstay situation.

What is new with 482 visas?

Lots, but perhaps the most significant change is a new occupations list. More than 200 occupations have been removed from the old list, and the list, itself, has been divided into two parts: the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STOL) and the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). These lists will be updated periodically.

The STSOL, unlike the MLTSSL, offers no path to permanent residency. Even previously qualified 457 visa holders may not qualify for a new 482 visa.

How does this affect various 457 visa holders?

Here is how the change may affect you under a few different scenarios:

Staying with the same employer

If your 457 visa is about to expire, and you want to remain in the same position with the same employer, your employer must nominate you again under one of the new subclass 482 visas. Your occupation must appear on either the new STSOL or new MLTSSL.

Changing employer

Your new employer must be an approved business sponsor. This new employer will need to lodge a new 482 nomination application to sponsor you. If your 457 nomination is still valid, you will not need to apply for a new visa, but if your visa is about to expire your new employer should make a new 482 nomination and visa application.

Changing occupation

If you wish to change your occupation, your employer sponsor must lodge a new 482 nomination for the new occupation. As above, your new occupation must appear on either of the new occupation lists. If your visa is expiring, you will need to apply for a new visa and you must meet the new requirements. Most importantly, your employer must demonstrate that it has conducted labour market testing. You must also have two years of relevant work experience in the nominated occupation.

What about permanent residency?

457 visa holders may be able to apply for permanent residency by first seeking either a subclass 186 visa (Employer Nomination Scheme) or a subclass 187 visa (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme). The 186 and 187 visas also have new qualification requirements, including a maximum age of 45, a minimum salary of $53,900 and a minimum relevant work requirement of 3 years.

Are there other choices?

Some skilled occupations, including engineering, teaching, IT, medical jobs and many trades are in short supply and have their own independent visa categories.

You may be able to qualify for a partner visa if you have either an Australian partner or a New Zealand partner living in Australia. If what you really want to do is to study in Australia, you may qualify for a student visa, which may also allow you to work part-time or full-time during the holidays. If you are the dependent of someone currently on a 457 visa, you may have your own independent right to pursue authorisation.

Don’t be daunted by the process of applying for a 482 visa or seeking permanent residency. It really is complicated, but there are experts and skilled migration agents who can help you sort through your choices. This is only a brief summary of a complicated situation, and you may have options not outlined above.

If you have questions and concerns about what you can do if you are currently in Australia on a 457 visa, the experienced attorneys at Owen Hodge Lawyers would like to help. We are dedicated to providing expert legal guidance no matter your legal issue. From contesting a will, to estate planning, to workers compensation, our experienced lawyers are here for you. Call us at your earliest convenience at 1800 770 780 to schedule a consultation.

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