COVID-19 Concessions Plan For Employer-Sponsored TR Visa Holders
COVID-19 Concessions For Employer-Sponsored TR Visa Holders
The Department of Home Affairs Australia is planning to give COVID-19 Concessions for Visa 482 and 457 holders, for their PR pathway via Visa 187 and Visa 186, as many of these visa holders face difficulties in meeting all the requirements due to COVID-19 Pandemic. By giving COVID-19 Concessions or updating the regulations for these temporary visa holders, the Australian government hopes it will bring convenience for their permanent residency visa applications.
What Are The Employer-Sponsored Visas?
1. Visa 482
Visa 482 or Temporary Skill Shortage Visa is a temporary visa that lets an employer sponsor a skilled worker to fill a position when the employer cannot find an experienced Australian or Permanent Resident to fill it in.
If you want to apply for this visa, you must be nominated for a skilled position by an approved employer who will be your sponsor.
You also must have the right skills for the nominated job and meet the English language requirements. This visa has three streams, namely short-term stream, medium-term stream, and labour agreement stream, which allows you to stay and work temporarily (different streams have different durations) in Australia.
2. Visa 457
Visa 457 or Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa is a temporary visa that allows skilled workers to live and work for an approved business temporarily in Australia.
Started from 18th of April 2017, this visa is replaced by Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) Visa which will support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages.
3. Visa 187
Visa 187 or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa is a visa that allows skilled workers to live and work in regional Australia permanently.
The skilled workers must be less than 45 years old (unless exempted) and nominated by an approved Australian employer in regional Australia.
There are some requirements that the skilled workers must meet such as skills, qualifications, and English language requirements. Visa 187 has two streams, namely, direct entry stream and temporary residence transition stream. This visa is currently closed to new applications.
4. Visa 186
Visa 186 or Employer Nomination Scheme Visa is also a visa that allows skilled workers to live and work in Australia permanently.
The skilled workers must have the necessary skills for their job, and an Australian employer must nominate them as well.
The difference between Visa 187 and Visa 186 is that Visa 187 is for employment to be carried out in regional areas in Australia, while visa 186 is not.
Visa 186 has three streams, namely direct entry stream, labour agreement stream, and temporary residence transition stream.
What Are The COVID-19 Concessions Plan Or Regulation Changes For Employer-Sponsored TR Visa Holders?
The details of the concessions or the regulations changes for 2020/2021 for that are going to impact Visa 482 TSS, 457 Visa, 187 Regional Sponsored and 186 Employer Nomination Scheme, are as follows:
1. Reduced Working Hours COVID-19 Concessions
Usually, if you had unpaid leave, your eligibility for Permanent Residency application through Visa 186 or Visa 187 might not be met or you may have to delay your plans to apply for one. The situation will especially worsen if you have been stood down or had your hours reduced due to COVID-19 Pandemic.
If any of the scenarios applies to you, your concerns have been addressed as the government amend the instrument and implements Transitional operation of regulation 5.19 for certain 457 visa holders, which will affect Visa 482.
The regulation might not lead Visa 482/457 holders to Permanent Residency application sooner, but it helps the Permanent Residency applicants who already meet the required 2 or 3 years before the Pandemic occurred.
Besides, the new legislation brings two new definitions as well:
a. Coronavirus reduced work period
This period is applicable for Visa 482 holders who are affected by COVID-19 and had their hours reduced. This period is defined as:
- A period that occurred during the concession period; and
- Within four years before Visa 186 application is made; and
- During this period the employee must be employed under Visa 482 on a full-time basis job; or
- The time period of the work might change to a part-time basis job because the employee is on unpaid leave due to COVID-19.
b. Coronavirus unpaid leave period
This period is defined as:
- A period that occurs during the concession period; and
- Within four years before Visa 186 is made; and
- During this period, the employee must be employed under Visa 482 on a full-time basis.
2. Higher Income Threshold Age Exemptions Under TRT Stream COVID-19 Concessions
Regarding the higher income threshold and age exemptions, according to the LIN 20/189, you might be still eligible for the age exemptions even though you do not meet the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) income due to COVID-19.
Specifically, the concession will not consider your working weeks that were impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic from the FWHIT concession amount.
Your working weeks are affected by COVID-19 if you have to reduce your working hours, work part-time, unable to work full-time, stand down, or take a pay cut.
However, the Department of Home Affairs may apply a pro-rata income threshold regarding the situation, which includes, in the last three years before your visa application, you must:
- Hold Visa 482 while being employed by an employer who made the nomination; and
- You were in the nominated application related to your visa application;
- Your income must be equal to or greater than the high-income threshold (as applying at the end of the year) and pro-rata threshold (exclude any income when your employment was affected by COVID-19 Pandemic).
The concessions regarding COVID-19 Pandemic will apply to the applications made on or after the 1st of February 2020, but before the 24th of November 2020. It is also applicable to applications made on or after the 24th of November 2020.