What options do I have to remain permanently in Australia?
I am currently working in Australia on a 457 visa and would like to know what options I have/if any to remain here more permanently.
I arrived in Australia about 2 and a half years ago and have been working for the same employer.
I have 2 questions;
1. Can I apply for a permanent visa
2. Will I be able to leave my current employer and look for work with another company
Answer provided by our agents
Dear Mr. B.
Thank you for your question regarding applying for permanent residence in Australia.
Currently, you hold a Subclass 457 Temporary work visa and you have been working for your Australian employer for about 2.5 years. As you know, the 457 visa is usually valid for up to 4 years, it allows you multiple entry to travel in and out of Australia and permits you to bring your family to Australia, if required.
Can you apply for a permanent visa?
Any application for a permanent visa is influenced by your background skills and qualifications. Essentially, you need to meet the eligibility requirements for a permanent residence visa. Eligibility requirements consist of the following factors: Age, English language ability, Qualifications and Recent work experience as well as possible Nomination by an Australian State/Territory government or sponsorship by a relative who is an Australian permanent resident or citizen.
Possible Permanent residence visas available to you:
1. Skilled Independent visa, Subclass 189 or Skilled Nominated visa, Subclass 190 - any application for a permanent visa depends on you having a skilled occupation. You do not state what your current occupation is. Your occupation must be listed on the Skilled Occupations List. See: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/Skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/SOL
2. If your Occupation is listed on the Skilled Occupations List - then you will need to have a Skills Assessment to see that your qualifications and work experience are comparable to an Australian qualification. The Assessment is undertaken by an Assessment Authority, Such as CPA Australia for Accountants or Vetassess for trades, such as Carpenters and Joiners, Bricklayers or Mechanics. For some trade occupations, you would need to do a practical assessment as well as provide information about your work experience and complete application forms and supply work related references. Once your application has been positively assessed then the Authority will determine that you are suitable for migration.
3. Point Test - to pass the points test for the Skilled Independent visa, you will need to acquire a minimum of 60 points. As mentioned above, your points are accumulated based on Age, English Language ability (need to sit IELTS test and score IELTS 8.0 score to get maximum 20 points, Qualifications - eg. you get 10 points for a trade qualification, such as a UK City and Guilds Level 2 or level 3, or you get 15 points for a Bachelors or Masters degree. Also, you get points based on the duration of work experience in your skilled occupation.
4. Permanent visa Application - you can apply inside Australia (onshore) or overseas from your country of residence (offshore), and usually you need to be in the same place at the time of visa grant, either offshore or onshore.
5. Registration/Licensing - note that certain occupation require registration or licensing by a Board or Authority in Australia, in order to work in Australia, such as Registered Nurses and Doctors.
6. Other Points - you can also get additional points if you have studied or worked in Australia previously. In your case, you have worked for 2.5 years in Australia and would acquire 5 points or after 3 years Aussie work experience, you would acquire 10 points.
Other Visa Options - Skilled Nomination Scheme, Subclass 186 visa
You could apply for sponsorship by your current employer under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream of the Subclass 186 visa, and you appear eligible give that you have already acquired 2.5 years work experience in Australia, and the eligibility criteria is that you must have worked for 2 years in the same position that your employer has nominated you.
Alternatively, you could apply under the Direct Entry Stream of the Subclass 186 visa, and this would allow you to work for any employer who wishes to nominate and sponsor you and you don't have to be restricted to just your current employer. You would just need to apply from outside Australia.
If your employer is based in a Regional area or low population area of Australia then you would need to apply under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, Subclass 187 visa, but you would have obligations to live and work in this area for a number of years.
If you are not eligible for the above Skilled visas, you could consider applying for a student visa to study a diploma, certificate or degree at an Australian College, University or TAFE. After qualifying and completing the course, you could apply for the Temporary Graduate, Subclass 485 visa, and this visa lets you live, study and work in Australia temporarily after you have finished your studies, and you could apply under the Post Study Work stream, which is valid for up to 4 years. After successfully finding an employer, you could apply in Australia for a number of Skilled visa applications or see employer sponsorship for permanent residence, as detailed above.
Will you be able to leave your current employer and look for work with another company?
Condition 8107 is the condition relevant to yourself as the primary applicant of a 457 visa.
You are considered to have ceased employment when either you or your employer notifies us of the date you stopped work.
If you stop working for your sponsor, you must do one of the following within 90 days:
find another employer to sponsor you (they will need to lodge a nomination and it must be approved before you can start working for them)
be granted a different visa
Therefore, you can hand in your notice and leave your current employer but be aware that you have 90 days to find another employer and get sponsorship and transfer your 457 visa to the new employer or apply for another visa, such as a skilled visa or student visa, but if you cannot find employment within 90 days then you would need to leave Australia or you may be able to extend your stay in Australia through applying for a Bridging visa, which gives you more time after your 457 visa has expired and allows you to lodge an application for another substantive visa, and keeps you legal during the processing time of the new visa.
If more than 90 consecutive days have passed since the date your sponsor advised us you would be ceasing employment on, you could be in breach of Condition 8107 and your visa could be cancelled.
If you abandon your employment, or are absent without leave, you could be considered to have ceased employment.
You must apply for another subclass 457 visa if your visa is about to expire and you want to keep working in Australia.
If you want to change employers while you hold a valid 457 visa you do not need to apply for a new subclass 457 visa, however your new sponsor must lodge a new nomination and this must be approved before you commence working for the new sponsor.
Thank you for using Ask an Agent. If you need further services from myself or a registered migration agent, please contact Amy at email@example.com or visit https://www.ask-an-agent.com.au/visa-quote - and don't forget to mention your Question ID so that I can keep providing immigration services to you.