From a 457 visa to permanent residency
The Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream
Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) holders! How do you make your stay in Australia permanent? Unless your employer has decided to jump straight for a permanent visa for you, you will need to complete 2 years with your sponsor before you can apply for a permanent Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187). This pathway puts you on the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream.
Completing those two years is by no means all it takes for a successful ENS or RSMS application. Your 457 sponsor will need to want you to continue on in your employment. If your employer is not willing to sponsor you for a permanent employer sponsored visa, I’m afraid that this means that you will need to search for other options.
The requirements for applying for permanent residency via the TRT stream is pretty much the same whether you are moving on to an ENS or RSMS visa.
- Nomination application
- Visa application
- Be under 50 years of age
- Possess vocational level English language ability
- Meet training requirements
- Completed 2 years with sponsor
- Hold any licences/registrations required to perform the role
It would make a lot of sense for a company to keep you for the tacit knowledge specific to that company, that you would have garnered over your two or more years of service. It wouldn’t if you were to move into a wholly new role or company. Part of the ENS or RSMS conditions involve your being nominated for the same occupation by the same employer.
The nominator must be the same sponsor for your 457 visa. The occupation must also be closely related to the occupation for which they were nominated for their 457 visa. Closely related occupations would be considered as occupations that fall under the same ANZSCO occupation group.
If you look at your nominated occupation on the occupation list, you will notice that it has an ANZSCO number attached to it. The first 4 digits in that code is the code for the occupation group.
Here, the occupation group is  Accountants. If you were applying as an  Accountant (General) but you are being nominated to continue on as a  Management Accountant, you should not face any difficulties. Promotions are understood as a natural progression.
The occupation must be available for at least a further two years. The employment contract and the company’s financial position should support this; an employment contract, should there be an outlined contract period, must be for at least 2 years, and the company’s financial situation must be able to comfortably support the applicant. Employment must be full time, which is defined to be met at at least 35 hours a week.
It is important that remuneration and employment terms are at market salary rate, and equal to what an Australian citizen or resident would be offered. This protects both the applicant as well as the local labour market.
Nominee (visa application)
Unlike the direct entry stream for ENS or RSMS visas, there is no skills assessment requirement. You would be taken to have the necessary skills having already completed two years of employment. That is a win! Some skills assessments are really tedious and time consuming to prepare.
Health, character and English requirements will also be assessed at this stage. The visa application can be made at the point the nominated application is lodged, but cannot be submitted exceeding 6 months post the approval of the nomination application.
Vocational English Language Ability
This is rather straightforward. You are eligible for an exemption should their earnings fall within that the top income tax level bracket. Alternatively, the applicant must have completed five or more years of full time study in secondary and/or higher education that has been taught in English. A minimum functional level English language ability requirement is still imposed.
2 year requirement
Is it ever plain and simple? It seems every requirement is loaded. To be honest, rightly so, but it does pile on to the that list of documents you need to prepare.
In the article linked you will notice a lot about ‘same employer’ ‘same occupation’ as well. Do not disregard this as it is not a repetition of information, these are the requirements for meeting the 2 year requirement alone (historical) whilst the information presented in the earlier passage is forward looking.
Training benchmark A or training benchmark B will need to have been met.
Training benchmark A: recent expenditure to the equivalent of at least 2% of the payroll of the business, in payments allocated to an industry training fund that operates in the same industry as the business
Training benchmark B: recent expenditure to the equivalent of at least 1% of the payroll of the business, in the provision of training to employees of the business who are Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents.
How? Over how long? Read all you need to know about training benchmarks
We admit that there are some tricky bits here, like the training requirement and the calculation your 2 years. Also, if you have changed your employer over the course of the last two years, you may also not be eligible, depending on what that change was like.
Exemptions to age, English language ability and skills assessments (employer sponsored direct entry stream visas) do exist – we will write about them soon!
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