457 Visas are great for getting established in Australia, but many 457 Visa holders will migrate from a 457 Visa to Permanent Residency in Australia. Here’s a simple guide on eligibility and how it works.
Your Options for Moving from a 457 Visa to Permanent Residency
There are several pathways for changing from a 457 Visa to Permanent Residency. These are:
- The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS).
- The Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS).
- The Skilled Migration Scheme.
- As the Partner of an Australian permanent resident or citizen.
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS)
The ENS and RSMS programs are pathways from a 457 Visa to Permanent Residency. The main difference between the two is that RSMS only applies for employers based in regional areas of Australia. These areas are defined in the migration regulations. Both streams need you to be nominated by your employer for permanent residence. The employer will need to provide certain company and financial information as part of the process. The y will also have to meet the training benchmark criteria for nomination. This means that they have to either spend 1% of payroll on training Australian employees or spend 2% of payroll on an Industry Training Fund. If they can not satisfy this criteria they will not be able to nominate you for PR.
If you have 457 Sponsorship from your employer, they should already meet the Employer Criteria because it is a sponsorship requirement for 457 Visa Sponsors.
The two most common ways you can apply under the ENS or RSMS frameworks are the Direct Entry and the 457 Transition streams.
- Direct Entry Stream. Under ENS you must obtain a skills assessment in your nominated occupation and have a minimum of 3 years work experience. Your work experience can be obtained anywhere; it doesn’t need to be in Australia. You must satisfy English language requirements, medical checks, and character checks. RSMS applicants must have a relevant qualification for their occupation. Tradespeople may have to undergo a skills assessment in certain circumstances.
- 457 Transition Stream. If you have worked for your employer for a minimum of two years, you can apply through the 457 Transition Scheme. This is often a less demanding pathway to PR. No formal skills assessment is required and lower English language requirements. Medical and character checks are still required.
The Skilled Migration Scheme
This is an application made independently of an employer. It uses a points tested application to decide if you are eligible. You must score a minimum of 60pts to be eligible. If you are eligible, you then lodge an Expression of Interest. The Australian Government then selects candidates by identifying those with the best skills and highest scores. Selected candidates are then invited to apply for permanent residence. You may also be able to obtain State Nomination, which can improve your prospects of success and speed up application times.
As the Partner of an Australian Permanent Resident or Citizen
If you have an Australian spouse or de facto partner, you may be eligible to apply for Permanent Residency. This is a stream independent of your 457 Visa. For more information, check out the Australian Government’s website.
There are two commonly held beliefs about transferring from a 457 Visa to Permanent Residency. The most common mistake is assuming that a 457 visa automatically converts to permanent residence after a period of time. It doesn’t. Similarly, stories about having to wait 2 years before you can apply for a permanent residence visa are incorrect. If in doubt, speak to a reputable qualified migration agent and find out what your options are for transferring from your 457 Visa to Permanent Residency.