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Pathways to Australian Permanent Residency From March 2018

Written By Michelle O'Sullivan
Mon, Sep 25, 2017
Michelle O'Sullivan

In recent updates we have covered a number of major changes to migration legislation. These changes have impacted the skilled occupation lists, English language requirements and training benchmark requirements. There are still significant changes to come from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), with March 2018 being the next significant milestone.

The March 2018 reforms will see the introduction of the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa, announced by the Turnbull government earlier this year. These upcoming reforms will affect those who have been in Australia working on 457 visas, as well as those who had intended on applying for permanent residency after two years of employment with their current sponsoring business.

Available Streams

We have observed that many visa holders are proactively seeking to obtain their permanent residency now ahead of the changes. Visa holders may not be aware of all the pathways available for permanent residency.

Where a visa holder is not eligible to apply for their permanent residency visa via the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream until after March 2018, they may wish to consider applying for a 186 or 187 visa through the employer nominated Direct Entry (DE) stream. Like the TRT stream, the DE stream leads to a permanent residency visa. The difference is that if an applicant can demonstrate that they are at the requisite Australian skill level in their nominated occupation prior to lodgement, they do not need to work for their employer for two years, or even hold a 457 visa.

Further to the option of applying for an employer nominated visa, many applicants may also be eligible to apply for a permanent General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa. Unlike the TRT and DE streams, a GSM visa does not require the support of an employer.

Both the DE permanent visa and the GSM visa will require the applicant to first obtain a positive skills assessment in their occupation.

Skills Assessments

Each eligible occupation has a specific skills assessing authority. The assessing authority will assess the applicant against specific requirements to see if they will meet the criteria to use this pathway. Each occupation requires an applicant to meet different criteria.

For example: A Marketing Specialist will be required to demonstrate that they have completed a relevant degree, and that they have one year's work experience post-graduation in a relevant role – this is assessed by VETASSESS. A Nurse will be required to show a degree only – this is assessed by ANMAC. A Carpenter is required to demonstrate five years of work experience – this is assessed by TRA.

Those in Australia who are working on temporary visas who wish to seek permanent residency via the TRT, DE or GSM stream, or those who are overseas and wish to migrate to Australia, can contact TSS Immigration directly or book a consultation for an assessment of their options.

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