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COVID-19 concessions for Employer-Sponsored visas (SC457-482 and 186-187)


The government has passed legislation that will provide concessions to COVID-19 affected subclass 457/482 and subclass 186/187 visa holders. This new concession will be in place from 24 November 2020.

Transitional arrangement for COVID-19 affected Subclass 457/482 holder

To be eligible for a subclass 186 TRT visa you must hold a subclass 457/482 and have worked for your employer for at least three years full time. However, due to COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are adversely affected. As a result, during the pandemic, workers’ hours are reduced or been asked to take unpaid leave.

In light of the above, the government has introduced laws that allow subclass 457/482 visa holders to apply for the subclass 186 TRT despite not working full- time during the concession period. This is aligned with when the pandemic outbreak began. The start date of the concession period is 1 February 2020.

Related: 457 visa to Permanent Residency


The new legislation introduces two new definitions:

Coronavirus reduced work period

This period is defined as:

  • A period that occurred during the concession period; and
  • during the period of four years immediately before the subclass 186 application is made; and
  • throughout which the person was employed in the occupation for which the subclass 457 or subsequent subclass 482 was granted, and
  • throughout which
    • the employment was on a basis other than a full-time basis, but would have been on a full-time basis were it not for COVID-19, or
    • the person was on unpaid leave from that employment because of COVID-19.

This is applicable to those who have been affected by COVID-19 and could not work full-time, i.e. working on a part-time basis or stood down.


Coronavirus unpaid leave period

This period is defined as:

  • A period that occurred during the concession period; and
  • during the period of four years immediately before the subclass 186 application is made; and
  • throughout which the person was employed in the occupation for which the subclass 457 or subsequent subclass 482 was granted and was on unpaid leave from that employment because of the COVID-19.

This amendment is applicable to applications made on or after 1 February 2020 and before 24 November 2020 and not yet decided, or applications made on or after 24 November 2020.



Higher Income Threshold and Age exemptions

If the age exemption applies to you on the basis that you are earning at the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently $153,600) to meet the 186 visa requirements, you will continue to be eligible for the age exemption even if your earnings have dropped due to COVID-19. The Department may apply the pro-rata income threshold.

The eligibility requirement is:

At all times during the three years ending immediately before the day the visa application is made, the person was employed:

  • by the employer who made the nomination to which the visa application relates, and
  • in the nominated occupation to which the visa application relates, and
  • the person’s employment was affected by a coronavirus employment change, and
  • for each of those three years that did not include any part of the concession period, the person’s earnings for the year were equal to or greater than the high income threshold (as applying at the end of the year), and
  • for each of those three years that included any part of the concession period, the person’s earnings for the year (excluding any earnings in a week when the person’s employment was affected by a coronavirus employment change) were equal to or greater than the pro‑rata threshold, and
  • at almost all times during those three years, the person held a subclass 457 or subclass 482 visa.

This amendment is applicable to all applications made on or after 1 February 2020 and before 24 November 2020 and not yet decided, or applications made on or after 24 November 2020.

Above are the new concessions the government has introduced to mitigate the implications of COVID-19 on work visa holders. Employer sponsored visas are complex, please book an appointment to discuss your case.



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The post COVID-19 concessions for Employer-Sponsored visas (SC457-482 and 186-187) appeared first on Australian Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers Melbourne | SeekVisa.

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