More Details on Skilled Migration Changes

In an earlier article, we wrote about what the upcoming changes to skilled migration in the employer-sponsored space might look like.

Further details have emerged.

Firstly, the changes have been announced, subject to regulation changes, to come into effect on 25 November 2023.

The Immigration Department has also released further details here.

Here is a quick summary of the salient points:

  • There will be no limit as to the number of times Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) visas (TSS Visas) in the Short-Term stream may be renewed. Further, TSS visa holders in the Short Term stream may apply for permanent residency under the Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition stream visa (186 TRT Visa). This will essentially abrogate any distinction between Medium Term and Short Term stream TSS visas.
  • The period to transition from the TSS Visa to the 186 TRT Visa will reduce from 3 years of working with the nominating employer to 2 years.
  • For persons over 45 years of age seeking the “high income” exemption under the 186 TRT Visa, the period will also be reduced from 3 to 2 years.
  • It will be possible to nominate the 186 TRT Visa, irrespective of occupation list, as long as the occupation is on ANZSCO.
  • Employers will be able to nominate holders of all streams of TSS Visas (including Short Term and Labour Agreement streams).

One interesting point to note is that, if the occupations and streams will become irrelevant, it seems that TSS Visa holders under the Labour Agreement stream may be able to transition to permanent residency outside of the Labour Agreement; or in a shorter period than contemplated by the Labour Agreement; or even where the Labour Agreement does not provide explicitly for permanent residency.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in contact with Lester Ong or Melissa Phan.