Changes to the regulations around transitional PR pathway for 457 and 482 visa holders


Nov, 2020

Justin Browne

Justin Browne

Justin Browne is the CEO of Four Points Immigration.

Changes to the regulations around transitional PR pathway for 457 and 482 visa holders

The Acting Minister for Immigration has released some promised changes that everyone has waited for.

Before those changes, those who were sponsored by their employers on 457 and/or 482 visas had to work for a certain period of time before they could qualify for the transitional PR pathway through their employment, commonly known as 186 TRT and 187 TRT.

To qualify for this pathway, an employee had to work two years out of the last three on 457/482 visa(s), then the rules changed, later on, making it three years out of the last four for those who began their 457 journey after the 18 April 2017 cut-off date, while preserving the 2-in-3 rule for the “grandfathered” cohort of 457/482 visa holders who had applied for or held their 457 on 18 April 2017.

When COVID-19 hit, a lot of employees were either partially or completely stood down, which meant – by the regulations interpretation of “work” – that they could not count those periods towards the two years (or three years for those who aren’t grandfathered).

For some employees, that meant extending their eligibility date to apply for PR by weeks – if not months – while they await their employers’ venues to go back to full-time load so they can accrue full-time experience again. This has had imposed an undue toll on those employees well-being as they saw their aspirations for PR at risk.

The Changes:

Today, a legislative instrument signed by the acting minister defines two new terms: coronavirus reduced work period  and  coronavirus unpaid leave period.  In a nutshell, those are the period (or periods) to which ALL the following applies:

  • Started on or after 1 February 2020
  • The said employee remained employed by their sponsor, and either
    • Had to take unpaid leave (or unpaid leaves) as they were stood down completely, or
    • Had to work any number of hours that is less than full time (38 hours/week)
  • The standdown (partial or complete) was due to COVID-19 (e.g. slowing business, government COVID-19 restrictions, etc.)

The great news is, those periods now can count towards the two years in the last three (or three in the last four for the non-grandfathered) in determining the earliest date they are eligible to apply for their Employer-Nominated Permanent Residency!

What does that mean to me?:

If you have completed the required period of service to qualify for 186 or 187 TRT with your employer, had it not been for the COVID-19 stand downs, FEAR NOT! As now you can apply without having to wait till you “make up” that period in full-time employment.

That means if you are grandfathered and have been employed on a full-time basis on 457 and/or 482 with your employer since November 2018*, or non-grandfathered and have been employed on the same basis since November 2017*, you may be eligible to proceed to Employer nominated PR straight away.

Also, if you have been employed after the date mentioned above but were planning to wait much longer to make up for the COVID-19 standdown period, you do not have to do so anymore.

Book a consultation with one of our migration agents to discuss your eligibility.

*All unpaid leaves are taken before 1 February 2020, or any Unpaid Leaves taken since 1 February 2020 for other reasons than COVID-19 will NOT be included in this exemption

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