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Conversion of Subclass 457 Visa to Permanent Residency in Australia

Posted on September 20, 2019
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Australia is a popular destination for Indians who want to migrate to another country.  Most Indians who have moved to the country on a Subclass 457 Visa which is a Temporary Visa try to convert it into a Permanent Residency (PR) visa after a few years. However, in March 2017, the Australian government abolished the Subclass 457 visa and replaced it with the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa which came with its own set of rules and regulations. But the good news is those who applied for conversion of their Subclass 457 visa to a PR visa prior to this ban are eligible for Employee Sponsored Pathway for Permanent Residency.

Permanent Residency in Australia

Based on your location you can apply for a PR visa either through the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) or the Regional Employer Sponsored Scheme (RSMS).

You must have had sponsorship from your employer for the 457 Visa for at least two years.

Your employer must be willing to sponsor your application for PR visa under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream. They must apply for a nomination to the Department of Home Affairs.

Other requirements include at least three years of work experience out of which two years must be with your current employer. Apart from this you must undergo a skills assessment and must have good competency in the English language comparable to 6 bands in the IELTS test.

What are the different ways to convert Subclass 457 into a PR visa?

Basically, there are four options when you want to convert:

1. You can convert it via the Employer Nomination Scheme temporary residence transition stream (ENS or RSMS visa) (457 to 186 visa or 457 to 187 visa)

2. You can use the Employer Nomination Scheme direct entry stream (ENS or RSMS visa)

3. You can opt to convert it through Skilled Migration (points based skilled visas – 189, 190, 489)

4. You can convert it by applying for a partner visa as a spouse of an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident

1. Subclass 457 to 186 or 187 Visa:

Converting your 457 to a 186 visa is the most popular option for those wanting to convert their 457 into a PR visa. The eligibility requirements for this conversion include:

  1. Your employer must have met all the commitments as a 457 sponsor for the last 2 years
  2. You must have worked for the same employer and in the same position in the last two years
  3. You must have the required score in the prescribed English proficiency test
  4. You and your family have a clean police record
  5. You have good medical records
  6. You are ready to pay the visa processing fees

If you want to convert your 457 to a 187 visa, you must:

  1. Be working for an employer belonging to Regional Australia
  2. Have worked in Australia for two years under 457 Visa
  3. Have your employer nominate you after confirmation from the Regional Certifying Body

2. Using the Direct Entry Stream:

For converting to the 186 visa or ENS, under the Direct Entry stream you must be competent in the English language and you must provide your skill assessment certificate from a certifying body and have 3 years of work experience relevant to your profession.

To be eligible for the 187 visa or the RSMS stream apart from competency in English you must have a Skill Assessment Certificate for your nominated occupation and the employer must nominate you from the Regional Certifying Body.

3. Conversion through the Skilled Migration Program:

For this conversion, you do not require sponsorship from an employer. But you must choose a relevant occupation and get a skills assessment from a certifying authority. You must also have the required IELTS score.

Your conversion application will be considered based on a points-based system. You will be given points based on these factors:

  • Age
  • Years of work experience
  • Level of education
  • English proficiency

You will have to score a minimum of 60 points for submitting your Expression of Interest (EOI). The higher your score, the better your chances of getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

4. Getting your PR as partner/ spouse of an Australian citizen/Permanent resident:

You can apply for a PR visa if your partner is a citizen or PR visa holder. Your Subclass 457 visa can be converted into a PR visa if you are married or engaged or in a relationship with an Australian citizen or PR visa holder. It can also be a same-sex relationship. This visa is granted in two stages. You will get a provisional visa for two years in the first stage which your relationship is assessed before granting a permanent visa.

What is the processing time for converting Subclass 457 to PR Visa?

The processing time depends on these factors:

  • Kind of PR visa you are applying for
  • Your occupation
  • Your country of origin
  • Your immigration history
  • Availability of required documents
  • Your response time to requests for additional information
  • Time taken to perform the required checks by the immigration department

Converting your Subclass 457 visa into a PR visa can be easier if you take the help of an immigration consultant. They will help you with the transition process.

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