Pathway to PR

The Australian Government has announced a pathway to PR for short term 482 visa holders who remained and supported the Australian workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Who is eligible for the pathway to PR? 

A new cohort of ‘specified persons’ will now be eligible to apply for PR through the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) in the Temporary Residency Transition stream from 01 July 2022. The criteria you must satisfy to be eligible for the pathway to PR is:

  •  A person who has been in Australia for at least 12 months between [01 February 2020 – 14 December 2021]; and 
  • at the time of application, is employed by a person actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia. 
However, at the time of application for PR (that is, any time after 01 July 2022), the person must either hold a valid subclass 482 (short term) visa or a relevant bridging visa provided their last substantive visa was the subclass 482 visa
Applicants should be careful of losing this benefit if they had already transitioned into another visa such as the Temporary Activity COVID visa (subclass 408) as they may lose eligiblity for the pathway to PR. 

Why is this beneficial? 

Prior to the announcement and legislated changes,  482 visa holders in the short term stream were only eligible for a 2 year visa with an option to renew once onshore. There was no pathway to PR available. 

This now creates a pathway to PR for those who remained in Australia for that specified period. 

What are the requirements?

All other requirements remain the same for other subclass 482 visa holders. Similar to other subclass 186 TRT requirements, the person must have 3 years of work experience with the same employer whilst holding a subclass 457/482 visa. 

Are there any COVID concessions?

From 01 February 2020 onwards (until a date to be specified by the Minister), reduced work and/or unpaid leave is permitted. Reduced work (any employment not on a full-time basis) and unpaid leave periods during the COVID-concession period will be deducted from the required 3 year work experience period. 

The legislation was announced on 18 March 2022 and is quite complex. This article is only a summary of the requirements. If you hold a short term 482 visa and you are unsure whether you now have a pathway to PR, it is best to consult with a professional. The consultation will ensure that you are going in the right direction. 

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