Extensions and variations

Short-term to long-term status

Can a short-term visa be converted in-country into longer-term authorisations? If so, what is the process?

Generally, a ‘substantive’ visa is required to make a further visa application or extension. The Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (the Regulations) provide schedules detailing the requirements that must be satisfied for an extension to be approved or a visa to be granted.

Each visa subclass contains criteria that must be met by the applicant and any dependents or family members. If the criteria are met, the applicant and any dependents or family members are granted the visa.

However, numerous conditions may bar a short-term visa holder from making a long-term visa application while the person remains onshore. For example, if a tourist visa (subclass 676 visa) holder’s visa was granted subject to condition 8503 of ‘no further stay’, then this condition will preclude the applicant from applying for most visas while still in Australia unless the condition is waived.

While there are some new limitations on employer nominated permanent residence, there may be a pathway to permanent residency from the 482 through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS).

Long-term extension

Can long-term immigration permission be extended?

Since 18 April 2017, only occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List are eligible for unlimited extensions.

Occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List are entitled to a subclass 482 visa with an initial two-year validity plus one onshore renewal. The visa holder will depart Australia and make an application from overseas after the end of the second 482 visa.

Once the visa holder ceases employment with the employer, he or she will be expected to depart Australia unless he or she wishes to apply for another visa and is eligible to do so.

Exit and re-entry

What are the rules on and implications of exit and re-entry for work permits?

Most visas are granted allowing multiple entries to Australia, meaning there is no limit to the number of times the visa holder can travel into and out of Australia, provided they comply with the conditions of their visa. There are, however, visas that are granted for a single entry only, and in those cases, the visa will cease automatically once that person departs Australia.

Permanent residency and citizenship

How can immigrants qualify for permanent residency or citizenship?

Some subclass 482 visa holders may be sponsored for permanent residency by their employer as per the ENS. Applicants who are not employer sponsors can apply under the general skilled migration programme if they possess particular skills and experience and an appropriate proficiency in English or the global talent visa programme.

A permanent resident of Australia who resides in Australia may apply for Australian citizenship provided that he or she:

  • meets the residence requirements, by having:
    • lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying;
    • been a permanent resident for at least one year before making an application; and
    • been away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the previous four years, including no more than 90 days in total in the previous 12 months;
  • is of good character;
  • has a basic knowledge of English;
  • intends to reside or maintains a close and continuing association with Australia; and
  • has adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.
End of employment

Must immigration permission be cancelled at the end of employment in your jurisdiction?

The conditions of a subclass 482 visa provide that the business sponsor must meet certain sponsorship obligations relating to the visa holder. These obligations include informing the Department of the primary sponsored person’s cessation or expected cessation, of employment within 28 working days of the 482 visa holder ceasing employment with them. The sponsorship obligations extend to providing the 482 visa holder’s travel costs of leaving Australia.

If the visa holder changes occupations with the sponsor, by promotion or transfer, a new nomination application may be required.

Employee restrictions

Are there any specific restrictions on a holder of employment permission?

Condition 8501 mandates that all 482 visa holders maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while in Australia. Condition 8607 requires that a primary holder of a subclass 482 visa must:

  • work in the occupation for which he or she was nominated;
  • commence that work within 90 days of arrival in Australia, or within 90 days after the visa was granted if he or she was in Australia when the visa was granted;
  • work for the sponsor, or an associated entity of the sponsor, who nominated the position he or she is working in;
  • not cease employment for more than 90 consecutive days;
  • hold any mandatory licence, registration or membership while performing the occupation and comply with any provisions; and
  • if the visa was granted on or after 1 December 2015, the applicant must:
    • hold the licence, registration or membership within 90 days of arrival in Australia if the visa was granted while he or she was outside Australia, or within 90 days after the visa was granted if he or she was in Australia when the visa was granted;
    • not engage in work that is inconsistent with the licence, registration or membership;
    • notify the Department in writing as soon as practicable if the application for the licence, registration or membership is refused; and
    • notify the Department in writing as soon as practicable if the licence, registration or membership ceases to be in force or is revoked or cancelled.

 

A new nomination is required if the 482 visa holder changes his or her occupation with the same employer. If the visa holder’s new occupation is inconsistent with the nomination approval, then condition 8607 may be breached and consideration may be given to cancellation of the visa.

If the visa holder intends to change sponsors, the new sponsor must be an approved sponsor and must lodge and have approved a new nomination form before the visa holder commencing work for them. If this condition is not complied with, the visa may be cancelled.

Law stated date

Correct on

Give the date on which the information above is accurate.

19 August 2020.