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Key Points
  • The Australian government re-affirms that for a select group of short-term TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa applicants, they may not apply for a third TSS visa within Australian borders.
  • Beginning on March 18, 2022, the Australian government will end the Employer Nomination Scheme transitional program (to permanent residence) for current or former Subclass 457 visa holders.
  • Short-term Stream applicants (with an occupation on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List) must be outside Australian borders to submit a TSS visa or renewal application if:
    • They possess more than one short-term stream TSS visa;
      They were within Australian borders when they submitted their most recent TSS visa application; and,
    • This requirement is compliant with any international trade obligation.
Several provisions for certain former or current Subclass 457 visa holders applying for permanent residence will end on March 18, 2022. Transitional options currently apply to select Employer Nomination Scheme employees (subclass 186, ENS visas) who held or had applied for (and were given) a Subclass 457 visa on April 18, 2017. With these options, ENS visa applicants in the Temporary Residence Transition stream can apply for permanent residence under the following the pre-March 18, 2018 requirements:
  • The maximum age limit is 50 years (previously 45 years);
  • The qualifying work period that the nominee must have worked under a nominating employer, in the nominated role, is two years (previously three years); and
  • The nominated occupation is not required to be on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List.
These transitional options for current or former Subclass 457 visas will end on March 18, 2022.
What are the Changes? 
The Australian government is tightening restrictions on applicants seeking to renew their TSS visas within Australian borders. The Transitional Programs for the Employer Nomination Scheme have a new cessation date of March 18, 2022.
Looking Ahead
Limitations such as these may or may not continue over the next 12 months, as more COVID-19 vaccinations commence. Any TSS visa holders within Australian borders (facing expiration) will require case-by-case assessment to determine next steps. If global employers or talent managers are considering transitions for any employees in Australia, they should consult immigration partners within the country.
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