frequently asked questions

Temporary entrant

I’ve read there have been changes to the 457 visa. What’s changed?

On 18 April 2017, the government announced that,as of March 2018, the 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. Any changes are being gradually implemented between April 2017 and March 2018.

As of 19 April 2017:

• The number occupations available for subclass 457 visa programme applicationswas reduced by 216

• The new TSS visa programme becamecomprised of two streams –short-term and long-term – and your eligibility for these streams depends on your occupation:

– Short-term stream: a visa of up to two years can be granted. There is no option to apply for permanent residency through this pathway

– Medium-term stream:a visa of up to four years can be granted. There is an option for the visa applicant to be sponsored for permanent residency after three years.

• 59 caveats now apply to specified occupations. This means that certain occupation-specific requirements mustnow be met –with regards to work experience or regional location, for example

• Depending on the occupation under which you apply, visa validity periods are now a maximum of two or four years.

Can I still apply for subclass 457 visas?

Yes. The subclass 457 program remains open until the new TSS visa comes into effect in March 2018. However, the occupation list has been restricted as of 19 April 2017.

What if I have a subclass 457 visa and I want to change companies?

It’s a condition of the current 457 visa that the visa holder must work for the company that sponsors them – and this means that you can’t change employers unless another Australian company is prepared to sponsor you. If this is the case, you must lodge a new application to the DIBP and the sponsor, nomination and visa applicant must be approved. If the sponsor is already approved,there’s no need to apply for a new standard business sponsorship.Likewise, if you still have time on your 457 visa then only the nomination of the new employer would need to be approved (and their SBS if not an approved business sponsor)

Great care should be taken when changing employers. If you choose to change employers now, a new nomination will need to be approved under the new arrangements. Depending on your occupation and the duration of your current visa, it could mean that you can no longer apply for a new nomination. It may also mean changing employers has a negative impact on your ability to apply for permanent residency down the track.

Can I add my partner and / or child to my already approved 457 visa?

Yes, if your employer agrees to also meet the sponsorship obligations towards the secondary applicants. The secondary applicants must also meet health and character requirement, while you will need to provide documentary evidence of their relationship to you. ​The subsequent dependant applicants can be granted a visa for the same period as your 457 visa.

Can my spouse work on a subclass 457 visa?

Yes, the spouse of a 457 visa holder has unrestricted work rights – providing they are included in the application or are subsequently added into the application.

Can my sponsor cancel my visa?

Your sponsor can inform the DIBP that they no longer wish to sponsor you. This will signal the DIBP to begin the visa cancellation process.

Resident Return visa

Resident Return visa – what are my options?

You are required to apply for an RRV (Resident Return visa) if your permanent visa is about to expire and you intend to depart Australia.

If you’ve been living in Australia for at least two years (this can be accumulative) in the last five years prior to lodging your visa, you will be granted a new five-year block of time so you can continue with your permanent residence visa.

If you have been living in Australia for less than two years in the last five years prior to the date of your RRV application, you may be eligible for a one-year RRV. To be eligible, you would need to present evidence of your ties to Australia, such as employment, family or business commitments.

If you live in Australia and your permanent residence visa expires, your status will automatically carry over – meaning you will continue to have permanent resident visa status. If you then wish to travel outside Australia, you will need to apply for a RRV, which will enable you to return using your current visa.

Bridging Visa

Can I apply for a Bridging visa?

No – a bridging visa is granted automatically if an applicant has applied for a visa from a substantive visa and the visa which they have applied from expires but the new one they have applied for has not yet been granted. To keep someone lawfully in Australia while the new visa application is being assessed,that person automatically goes onto a Bridging visa A.

If they want to travel outside of Australia while their visa is being assessed, then they need to apply for a Bridging visa B. At all times, a visa holder must avoid being in Australia without a valid visa or a Bridging visa. People who are unlawfully in Australia are placed on a Bridging visa E which requires them to depart Australia immediately. This usually carries a three-year restriction onany temporary visa that allows re-entry into Australia.

Visa Status

Where can I see my current visa status?

As a visa holder, you can use VEVO to check your current visa details and conditions.

Skilled Migration

What is an Expression of Interest (EOI)?

An EOI is not a visa application; it’s an indication that you would like to be invited to apply for skilled visa. It’s an online form, with no fee, that asks you a series of questions about how you intend to score your points for a subclass 189, 190 and 489 visa application. It is imperative that your points are calculated accurately so that when a visa application is lodged after being granted an invitation, the points in the visa application are the same as the points claimed in the EOI. An EOI does not result in a bridging visa.

I have lodged an EOI. Does that mean I will get an invitation?

No, not necessarily. You must obtain a minimum of 60 points to lodge an Expression of Interest. The higher the points, the more likely it is that you will receive an invitation to lodge a visa application. However, depending on the volume of applications with your occupation received by the DIBP, a higher score than 60 may be required to be granted an invitation to lodge a visa application. As an example, accountants require 75 points to be granted an invitation whereas high school teachers may only require 65 points.

Partner Visa

I want to sponsor my partner

Many Australians find overseas partners who they wish to spend the rest of their lives with, so there is a pathway to obtain a permanent visa based on a genuine relationship with an Australian, permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen.

Most partner visas can be lodged in or out of Australia, except for Prospective Partner visas, which must be lodged when the overseas partner is offshore. To lodge a partner visa, the applicant must show that the relationship is genuine and mutually exclusive.

This visa can be based on a marriage, de-facto relationship of living together for 12 months under the same roof, or de-facto of less than 12 months of living together by registering their relationship with the Registry Office of their state in Australia. Please note that not all states and territories have a facility for relationship registration.

A partner visa is a two-stage application. In the first stage, a provisional visa is granted. After two years from lodgment of the provisional visa, the provisional visa holder can apply for a permanent visa.

Top tip: it’s important to check if the overseas partner has an 8503 condition on their visa, as this condition would prevent them from lodging another visa onshore.

I’m currently on a temporary partner visa subclass 820. The relationship with my partner has ended. Do I have to leave Australia?

Generally, yes –unless you can demonstrate special circumstances as to why you should be granted the visa. Special circumstances include: sharing parental responsibility, if your partner has died, or you have been the victim of domestic violence.

Employer sponsorship for permanent visa

I want to apply for permanent residence Based on Employer Nominated Sponsorship –what are the overall pathways?

There are two application pathways for this category.

Pathway one is based on Temporary Transition: when the 457-visa holder has been employed for two years with the same employer. (From March 2018, this will change to three years.)

Pathway two is based on Direct Entry:the applicant must fulfil a occupation Skills Assessment and demonstrate a minimum of three years’ experience in that occupation. The employer also needs to show they have a need for that position besides many other criteria that need to be met.

The applications are complex, though, so please speak if you’re interested about finding out more.

I want to apply for permanent residence based on the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) – what are the overall pathways?

There are no waiting periods to apply for RSMS but a skills assessment is required for trade-related occupations that were not completed in Australia.

The applications are complex, though, so please speak if you’re interested about finding out more.

What type of visa are you looking for?

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Employer Sponsorship Visa

I AM A

Skilled Person & Want to Live and Work in Australia

I WANT TO

Sponsor My Partner or Parents

I WANT A

Student Visa or Graduate Visa

I WANT TO

Start a Business or Invest in Australia

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