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29.2 Changing status

16 Sep 2016 - 14:50 | Version 3 |

A visitor or temporary resident in Australia may apply for a change of status to another temporary visa or a permanent visa. Whether the temporary visa holder can apply for another visa inside Australia ('on-shore') depends on the conditions imposed upon their last visa, whether the visa they wish to apply for can be applied for from within Australia and whether they meet the other legal requirements for the grant of that visa.

Temporary visas that may be applied for on-shore

Temporary work visas

Eligible overseas students and holders of certain temporary visas (including Working Holiday, Skilled Graduate and Skilled Independent Regional (Provisional) visas) who are sponsored by an eligible relative or nominated by a State or Territory government may apply for a Skilled-Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa [subclass 487]. This enables the visa holder to remain in Australia for three years. The requirements for this visa are the same as listed above for the subclass 475 visa, with the additional requirement that their occupation is one for which 50 or 60 points are allocated on the Skilled Occupation List. The application fee is the same as for the subclass 475 visa.

The Skilled-Graduate (Temporary) Visa [subclass 485] permits an overseas student who has recently obtained an Australian qualification as a result of at least two years study in Australia to remain in Australia for 18 months to enable them to meet the requirements for permanent residence. The applicant must be under 45 and have skills and qualifications that meet the Australian standard for an occupation that is on the Skilled Occupation List and is allocated 50 or 60 points. The application fee is $190.

As stated above, the subclass 457 Temporary Business (Long Stay) Visa may be applied for from within Australia if the applicant holds or held a certain type of visa and has complied with the conditions of that visa.

Temporary family visas

The spouse or interdependent partner of an Australian citizen or permanent resident may be able to apply for the subclass 820/826 visa respectively from inside Australia. These visas are 'provisional', in that they are granted to enable the non-Australian partner to stay in Australia with their partner until their application for permanent residence on spouse or interdependent grounds has been decided. The decision on the permanent visa is delayed for a period of two years. (See Family and Spouse Migration ).

The Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa 884 also provides a pathway to permanent residence after two years. The applicant needs to be aged, sponsored by their Australian child and have at least half of their children permanent residents of Australia. There is a first instalment payable at the time of application of $2060, with the second instalment, of $18,935 payable prior to grant of the temporary visa. After two years the parent can apply for permanent residence, with an initial application fee of $190 and a second fee of $12,625 becoming payable prior to grant of permanent residence.

Permanent visas that may be applied for on-shore

A temporary visa holder may be eligible to apply from inside Australia for a number of different permanent visas. Each of the permanent family visas which can be applied for on-shore, has a corresponding visa which must be applied for from outside Australia ('Off-shore'), see Entry by Migrants, this chapter, for details on these visas. Generally speaking, the application fee for family visas is higher where the visa is applied for from inside Australia than where the visa is applied for outside Australia.

As mentioned above many temporary work visas provide a pathway to permanent residence. Other temporary visa holders, apart from tourists, may also be eligible in certain circumstances to apply for a permanent work visa. There is an equivalent visa which can only be applied for off-shore for many of the permanent on-shore skilled visas. For more detail see Skilled Migration . The permanent skilled visas which can be applied for on-shore are as follows.

Skilled visas - employer nominated

The subclass 855, 856 and 857 visas are employer nominated permanent visas. The subclass 855 is for people who are nominated by an employer either under a Labour Agreement, a RHQ agreement or a IASS agreement and the subclass 856 is for people nominated by an employer for a full-time position in a highly skilled occupation that is on the Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List (ENSOL). The subclass 857 is a visa under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, which allows employers in Regional Australia to recruit skilled workers. The position needs to be located in a regional area, which cannot be filled by an Australian employee and require a person with qualifications equivalent to at least Australian diploma level/trade certificate with full apprenticeship (unless exceptional circumstances apply). An applicant must have occupational skills in demand in Australia. Unless exceptional circumstances apply they must be under 45 and have functional English.

Skilled visas - General Skilled Migration Program

The Skilled - Independent (Residence) visa [subclass 885] is for certain overseas students who have obtained an Australian qualification in Australia as a result of at least two years study. Applicants are not sponsored and must pass a points test.

The Skilled - Sponsored (Residence) visa [subclass 886] is the same as above except that it allows applicants not able to meet the Skilled - Independent pass mark for the points test, who have either a relative in Australia to sponsor them or a nomination from a State or Territory government. Applicants must pass a points test lower than that for the Skilled - Independent visa.

The Skilled - Regional (Residence) visa [subclass 887] is for certain temporary visa holders who have lived for at least two years and worked for at least one year in a Specified Regional Area in Australia.

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