Many individuals have a goal of attaining Australian Permanent Residence (PR) visa status. It’s not surprising to see why — an individual holding an Australian permanent resident visa enjoys the following benefits:
- Being entitled to live, study and work in Australia on a permanent basis
- Gaining access to some of Australian citizens’ rights and privileges, such as free or subsidised health as well as education
- Having the option to apply for Australian citizenship
If you wish to become a permanent resident of Australia, there are a number of programs that you may consider. First, if you find yourself eligible, you can directly apply for a permanent resident visa. In other cases, you could hold a different kind of visa, which makes you eligible to apply for permanent residence at a later stage during your stay in Australia.
An example of the latter is when you are a holder of a 457 visa.
The pathway from 457 visa to PR
The full title of the 457 visa is the Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa. It is considered the program most frequently utilised by Australian as well as overseas employers to sponsor skilled workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis. It is primarily designed to allow employers to address labour shortages; where appropriately skilled Australians cannot be found, genuinely skilled workers from overseas are brought in.
A person who holds the Subclass 457 visa is able to:
- Work in Australia for up to four years
- Bring eligible dependents with them to Australia (these dependents can either work or
- Travel in and out of Australia (there is no limit to the number of times)
Once you have the Subclass 457 visa, you may then consider one of the most common pathways to permanent resident status, which is through either one of these transitional employer nominated visas:
- Employer Nominated Visa (ENS) (Subclass 186)
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Subclass 187)
In this pathway, two things are required:
- You must work for the same employer on a Subclass 457 visa for two years
- This employer must nominate you for permanent residence
The advantages of opting for this pathway include:
- You won’t need to submit to a skills assessment in your nominated occupation. If you have extensive experience in your line of work, but have no qualifications, this is good news for you.
- There is an available health waiver option if you have a medical condition.
- If you have dependents on your Subclass 457 visa, they can be added as dependents on your transitional visa — even if they are no longer actually dependent on you.
In order to successfully transition to PR visa status, there are conditions that must be met. The following examples can prove to be a challenge for many Subclass 457 visa holders:
- Commencing work with your Australian employer within 90 days of your visa grant.
- Working only for your nominating employer, in your nominated occupation.
- For those wanting to change employers: Waiting until the new employer’s nomination is approved.
- For those changing employers because the nomination has been approved: The visa expiry date remains the same and re-start the two years of employment from scratch..
- For those leaving the nominating employer’s employment: Finding a new nominating employer within 90 days of leaving the previous one.
- Going on leave without pay (LWOP) while on a Subclass 457 visa, where allowed (but not working for another employer during the LWOP).
- Adding a partner to the Subclass 457 visa after it has been granted, provided there is proof that you have been in a de facto relationship for at least six months or married or have registered the relationship, where allowed.. Your partner must remain such in order to maintain their visa.
Getting the proper assistance
Subclass 457 visa holders may find themselves in various situations that could leave them concerned about their ability to transition to PR visa status. Problems may arise with their employment status, or there may be conflict with their current sponsor.
In such instances, it’s best to work with qualified migration experts who can recommend solutions and the ideal pathways. Book a consultation today with www.migrationworld.com.au to find out your best options to obtain your Permanent Residence in Australia or call us +61-2-9188 9616.