186 visa exemptions

186 TRT (transition stream) visa age exemptions

Researchers, scientists and technical specialists

TRT age exemption requirements may met if the applicant has been linked to an approved nomination from an Australian government scientific agency for an ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 researcher, scientist or technical specialist position.

Nine examples of ANZSCO occupations that are skill level 1 or 2 research, scientific and technical positions are:

  • Chief of Division
  • Chief Research Scientist
  • Corporate Executive (Class 1, 2, and 3)
  • Director of Institute
  • Principal Research Scientist
  • Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Research Scientist Senior
  • Principal Researcher
  • Scientist Senior Research Scientist.

The following nine entities are those identified as Australian government agencies whose employees may benefit from the age exemption:

  • CSIRO
  • ANSTO
  • The Australian Astronomical Observatory
  • The National Measurement Institute
  • IP Australia
  • Questacon
  • The Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group)
  • The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.

The above list of Commonwealth agencies is not exhaustive, however, as new Commonwealth agencies may be established over time.

Persons nominated by State/Territory government agencies conducting scientific research, including public hospitals, are similarly eligible to apply for this age exemption.

Furthermore, under Policy, persons nominated by a public university in Australia (as distinct from private and international universities in Australia) for a position requiring a scientist, researcher, or technical specialist working in a dedicated research capacity in the university (rather than being a ‘Lecturer’ or ‘Academic’, for which see below), can be considered as working in and being nominated by an ‘Australian scientific government agency’.

The policy intention is to refer to applicants who possess special skill, knowledge, experience or qualifications in a particular field so as to make them an expert beyond the ordinary standard of that occupation. In other words, an expert or authority in a particular field. This could be demonstrated through a letter of recommendation from the nominating employer, evidence of receipt of international prizes or awards, publication of peer-reviewed articles.

It is intended that a person would meet this exemption even if research is not the main focus of their position. However, requiring research to be part of the official duties of the position is intended to exclude positions that do not directly or routinely involve research, but only occasionally or indirectly contribute to broader research activities. For example, someone who occasionally is required to research a matter in the course of their job, or a corporate human resources role at a research organisation.

8.8.2.3 Ineligible

As the applicant must be nominated by an Australian Government agency for a position as an ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 researcher, scientist or technical specialist, the TRT age exemption is not available to:

  • applicants nominated by Australian government agencies for positions in other occupations, such as accountants or human resources personnel or
  • applicants nominated by government-subcontracted commercial bodies or
  • applicants nominated by agencies at the local government level.

8.8.2.4 Senior academics

TRT age exemptions requirements may met if the applicant has been linked to an approved nomination from a university in Australia for a position at Academic Level of B, C, D or E as a University Lecturer (ANZSCO 242111) or Faculty Head (ANZSCO 134411).

The TRT age exemption applies only to persons nominated by a university in Australia. It does not apply to persons nominated by other higher educational institutions such as TAFE colleges or to persons nominated for non-academic positions.

The 186.221(b) legislative instrument only covers persons to be employed at an Academic Level of B, C, D or E as a University Lecturer (ANZSCO 242111) or Faculty Head (ANZSCO 134411). Under policy, the occupation of University Lecturer is intended to encompass a broad range of research and teaching related occupations and can include professionals qualified in a range of disciplines such as biology, chemistry and engineering, regardless of the proportion of time the nominee will actually spend directly teaching students.

The exemption is provided on the basis that senior academics achieve positions at the higher levels over a long period of time through work involving research and publications; they may therefore tend to be older and may not satisfy the benchmark age requirement.

For information, the five levels within which academic occupations within the Australian higher education system are broadly classified are:

  • Level A – Assistant or Associate Lecturer, Research Fellow, Demonstrator
  • Level B – Lecturer, Lecturer B, Lecturer 1, Research Fellow
  • Level C – Fellow, Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow
  • Level D – Associate Professor, Head of Department, Principal Lecturer, Principal Research Fellow, Reader, Senior Fellow, Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Level E – Dean, Head of School, Professor, Teaching Fellow.

186 DE (direct entry stream) visa exemptions

DE age requirements

At time of application, the applicant must be less than 45 years old, unless they are a person in any of the three exempted class of persons specified in the 186.231(b) legislative instrument, namely:

  • ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 researchers, scientists and technical specialists nominated by an Australian government scientific agency.
  • Senior academics nominated by a university in Australia.
  • 444 and 461 visa holders who have been working for their nominating employer in their nominated occupation for at least 2 years (excluding any periods of unpaid leave) in the 3 year period immediately before applying. (444 visas are held by New Zealand citizens and give the holder unlimited work rights. 461 visas are held by non-New Zealand family unit members of New Zealand citizens.)

For these three age exemption categories, refer to:

  • Researchers, scientists and technical specialists
  • Senior academics
  • New Zealand citizens and their family members

9.8.2 DE age exemptions

 Researchers, scientists and technical specialists

Officers can consider the DE age exemption requirements met if the applicant has been linked to an approved nomination from an Australian government agency for an ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 researcher, scientist or technical specialist position.

Nine examples of ANZSCO occupations that are skill level 1 or 2 research, scientific and technical positions are:

  • Chief of Division
  • Chief Research Scientist
  • Corporate Executive (Class 1, 2, and 3)
  • Director of Institute
  • Principal Research Scientist
  • Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Research Scientist Senior
  • Principal Researcher
  • Scientist Senior Research Scientist

The following nine entities are those identified as Australian government agencies whose employees may benefit from the age exemption:

  • CSIRO
  • ANSTO
  • The Australian Astronomical Observatory
  • The National Measurement Institute
  • IP Australia
  • Questacon
  • The Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group)
  • The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.

The above list of Commonwealth agencies is not exhaustive, however, as new Commonwealth agencies may be established over time.

Persons nominated by State/Territory government agencies conducting scientific research, including public hospitals, are similarly eligible to apply for this age exemption.

Furthermore, under Policy, persons nominated by a public university in Australia (as distinct from private and international universities in Australia) for a position requiring a scientist, researcher, or technical specialist working in a dedicated research capacity in the university (rather than being a ‘Lecturer’ or ‘Academic’, for which see below), can be considered as working in and being nominated by an ‘Australian scientific government agency’.

The policy intention is to refer to applicants who possess special skill, knowledge, experience or qualifications in a particular field so as to make them an expert beyond the ordinary standard of that occupation. In other words, an expert or authority in a particular field. This could be demonstrated through a letter of recommendation from the nominating employer, evidence of receipt of international prizes or awards, publication of peer-reviewed articles.

It is intended that a person would meet this exemption even if research is not the main focus of their position. However, requiring research to be part of the official duties of the position is intended to exclude positions that do not directly or routinely involve research, but only occasionally or indirectly contribute to broader research activities. For example, someone who occasionally is required to research a matter in the course of their job, or a corporate human resources role at a research organisation.

Ineligible

As the applicant must be nominated by an Australian government scientific agency for a position as an ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 researcher, scientist or technical specialist, the DE age exemption is not available to:

  • applicants nominated by Australian government agencies for positions in other occupations, such as accountants or human resources personnel
  • applicants nominated by government subcontracted commercial bodies or
  • applicants nominated by agencies at the local government level.
Senior academics

Officers can consider DE age exemption requirements met if the applicant has been linked to an approved nomination from a university in Australia for a position at Academic Level of B, C, D or E as a University Lecturer (ANZSCO 242111) or Faculty Head (ANZSCO 134411)

The applicant must be nominated by a university in Australia. The age exemption does not apply to applicants nominated by other higher educational institutions such as TAFE colleges, even if the position is as University Lecturer (ANZSCO 242111) or Faculty Head (ANZSCO 134411).

For information, the five levels within which academic occupations within the Australian higher education system are broadly classified are:

  • Level A – Assistant or Associate Lecturer, Research Fellow, Demonstrator
  • Level B – Lecturer, Lecturer B, Lecturer 1, Research Fellow
  • Level C – Fellow, Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow
  • Level D – Associate Professor, Head of Department, Principal Lecturer, Principal Research Fellow, Reader, Senior Fellow, Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Level E – Dean, Head of School, Professor, Teaching Fellow.

The policy perspective is that the exemption is provided on the basis that senior academics achieve positions at the higher levels over a long period of time through work involving research and publications; they may therefore tend to be older and may not satisfy the benchmark age requirement.

 New Zealand citizens and their family members

Officers can consider the age exemption requirements met if the applicant:

  • holds a 444 or 461 visa and
  • has been working for their nominating employer in their nominated occupation for at least 2 years (excluding any periods of unpaid leave) in the 3 year period immediately before applying while the holder of a 444 or 461 visa.

(444 visas are held by New Zealand citizens and give the holder unlimited work rights. 461 visas are held by non-New Zealand family members of New Zealand citizens.)

Persons not required to demonstrate their skills

Applicants are not required to demonstrate that they have requisite skills for the nominated occupation if they are a person in any of the three classes of persons:

  • researchers, scientists and technical specialists at ANZSCO skill levels 1 or 2, who have been nominated by Australian government agencies.
  • academics nominated by a university in Australia
  • 444 and 461 visa holders currently in Australia who have been working with their nominating employer in their nominated occupation for at least 2 years (excluding any periods of unpaid leave) in the 3 year period immediately before applying for their visa.

For these three categories, refer to:

  • Researchers, scientists and technical specialists
  • Academics
  • 444 or 461 visa holders.

Researchers, scientists and technical specialists

Officers can consider skill exemption requirements met if the applicant has been linked to an approved nomination from an Australian government scientific agency for an ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 researcher, scientist or technical specialist position.

The exemption is based on the premise that:

  • relevant persons within the nominating institution are likely to be the most qualified to assess the skills of the applicant in the context of the nominated occupation

and

  • given the nature of the positions, nominated persons are likely to have relevant experience

and

  • these organisations would generally advertise widely to attract the highest calibre candidates so as to maintain research excellence.

As nine examples, ANZSCO occupations that are skill level 1 or 2 research, scientific and technical positions include:

  • Chief of Division
  • Chief Research Scientist
  • Corporate Executive (Class 1, 2, and 3)
  • Director of Institute
  • Principal Research Scientist
  • Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Research Scientist Senior
  • Principal Researcher
  • Scientist Senior Research Scientist

The following nine entities are those identified as Australian government agencies whose employees may benefit from the skill exemption:

  • CSIRO
  • ANSTO
  • The Australian Astronomical Observatory
  • The National Measurement Institute
  • IP Australia
  • Questacon
  • The Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group)
  • The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.

The above list of Commonwealth agencies is not exhaustive, however, as new Commonwealth agencies may be established over time.

Persons nominated by State/Territory government agencies conducting scientific research, including public hospitals, are similarly eligible to apply for this age exemption.

Furthermore, under Policy, persons nominated by a public university in Australia (as distinct from private and international universities in Australia) for a position requiring a scientist, researcher, or technical specialist working in a dedicated research capacity in the university (rather than being a ‘Lecturer’ or ‘Academic’, for which see below), can be considered as working in and being nominated by an ‘Australian scientific government agency’.

The policy intention is to refer to applicants who possess special skill, knowledge, experience or qualifications in a particular field so as to make them an expert beyond the ordinary standard of that occupation. In other words, an expert or authority in a particular field. This could be demonstrated through a letter of recommendation from the nominating employer, evidence of receipt of international prizes or awards, publication of peer-reviewed articles.

It is intended that a person would meet this exemption even if research is not the main focus of their position. However, requiring research to be part of the official duties of the position is intended to exclude positions that do not directly or routinely involve research, but only occasionally or indirectly contribute to broader research activities. For example, someone who occasionally is required to research a matter in the course of their job, or a corporate human resources role at a research organisation.

444 or 461 visa holders

Exemptions from the skill requirement are available for those 444 and 461 visa holders who:

  • are currently in Australia and
  • have been working with their nominating employer in their nominated occupation for at least 2 years (excluding any periods of unpaid leave) in the 3 years immediately before applying while the holder of a TY-444 or UP-461 visa.

The 12 month buffer allows for the 2 years of full time work to be counted on a cumulative basis around any unpaid leave or other absences in the 3 years immediately prior to visa application.

If the applicant is seeking to count part-time work undertaken, the delegate will need to be satisfied that the work undertaken was at the appropriate skill level and is equivalent to a full-time work load of 2 years (at 35 hours per week) in the 3 years immediately prior to visa application. Refer also to Must have been employed in the nominated occupation for 3 years – Employment should be full time.