So you’ve successfully obtained a 457 visa and have moved to Australia under the temporary work (skilled) visa subclass. Congratulations!
But now you are thinking about converting your visa to a permanent residency.
Here’s why it’s advantageous to do so, and some tips for going about it.
The advantages of permanent residency
If you want to stick around, then you have obviously enjoyed living in Australia so far.
A big factor in favour of applying for permanent residency is that it makes you more independent from your employer – if you lose your job while on a 457 visa there are not many options available to you, but if you are a permanent resident there is no need to hold down employment at all times.
Particularly if you have a family to support, you will most likely welcome the increased support and reliability that comes with permanent resident status.
You’ve probably heard by this point that you can apply for Australian permanent residency once you have been granted a 457 visa. So how do you convert your golden 457 ticket into permanent residency status?
How to make the move
Once you’re already in Australia under a 457 visa, the four main methods of applying for permanent residency are:
- Through the employer nomination scheme (ENS).
- Through the regional sponsored migration scheme (RSMS).
- By entering through skilled migration stream.
- As the partner of a permanent resident or citizen.
Applying through the ENS and RSMS
Both of these programs are quite similar to the process you will have already undergone in order to receive the 457 visa, and rely upon you being nominated by your employer to remain in the country and be granted permanent residence.
If you are applying for direct entry under ENS, then you will need to undergo a skills assessment and demonstrate that you possess three years of work experience in that industry (not necessarily gained in Australia). You will also need to demonstrate that you possess adequate English language skills and meet various other criteria – most of which you will have had to meet to be granted the 457 visa in the first place.
Obviously the RSMS only applies if your employer is based in a regional area. In addition to the ENS requirements for direct entry, you will need to demonstrate relevant qualifications for your selected occupation to gain residency under RSMS.
Alternatively, you can apply through the transition stream – however this means that you need to have worked for the same employer for two years before you are nominated for a transfer from the 457 visa stream to permanent residency.
Alternatively, if you prefer not to rely on the sponsorship of an employer you can apply via the skilled migration stream. In order to be eligible for this visa you must work in an occupation which is listed on the government-released skilled occupations list and meet certain other entry criteria including finalising a detailed expression of interest before you submit your visa application.
There are many fantastic options and pathways by which you can realise your dream of becoming an Australian permanent resident, particularly if you have already gained entry under the 457 visa.
Do be aware that there are many factors which can complicate your application for permanent residency status in Australia, and it is essential that you obtain advice from a registered migration agent before you attempt to start the process yourself.