Permanent Residence for 457 holders

If you hold a 457 visa it can be a great stepping stone to permanent residence. Most 457 holders apply for permanent residence through the ENS Temporary Residence Transition stream, but there are a number of requirements which can catch out unwary applicants.

ENS Temporary Residence Transition Stream

Many 457 holders become eligible for permanent residence through the ENS Temporary Residence Transition Stream after they have worked on a 457 for 2 years.

Many 457 visa holders think this is automatic - in fact it is far from automatic and there are a number of criteria which must be met. Below is a summary of the main requirements and some of the issues we have encountered in making the application for our clients:

Work in the position for 2 years

You must have worked for 2 years in a position for which you were sponsored. Some important things to note about this requirement:
  • If your tasks and duties change this could affect your eligibility
  • You must have worked full time (35 hours per week)
  • Periods of unpaid leave will not count toward this 2 year requirement
  • You must hold a 457 visa for this entire period
  • Your employer must not change - if there is a business restructure this could affect your eligibility

Employer requirements

The employer must support your application and will need to provide:
  • Confirmation of your position and conditions of employment
  • Financial details such as an up to date Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Australian Tax Office filings
  • Evidence that the employer has met the training obligation in each year of their sponsorship. This applies to training of Australian permanent residents and citizens in the business, rather than your training activities

Age and English requirements

You must be under 50 at the date of lodgement - there is an exemption for this if you are highly paid.

You will need to demonstrate IELTS 5 in each band or equivalent - results are valid for 3 years. Note that it is possible to qualify for a 457 with an average band score of 5 - this does not apply to ENS, and you may well need to re-sit for your English test.

Other options

You may be eligible for permanent residence through ENS Direct Entry or General Skilled Migration. These would not require you to work for the Australian employer for 2 years but, would require a formal skills assessment. Your Australian work experience on a 457 visa can increase your points score when applying for general skilled migration.

Many 457 holders also apply for partner visas. There can be issues if you change employer during processing of the partner visa. Your 457 restricts you to only working with your sponsoring employer. Partner visas can take 15 months or more to process and you would remain bound by the 457 work restriction until your partner visa is granted.

Please book a consultation if you would like to discuss your permanent residence options. We can check that you meet the requirements for the ENS Temporary Residence Transition, and also give you full advice on any alternative pathways to permanent residence which might be possible in your case.

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