Expanding Employer Sponsored Pathways to Permanent Residence (PR)

The government is set to implement changes to Australia’s migration system to ensure temporary skilled workers have a pathway to PR.

To support this, the Department of Home Affairs is currently working on changes to the:

These changes are expected to commence from 25 November 2023* (subject to the approval of regulation changes).

 Why are the changes being made?

‘permanently temporary’ visa holders in Australia.

To attract the skilled workers Australia needs, the government plans to create clear pathways to PR for all TSS visa streams. This will provide more certainty to employers and TSS visa holders as well as simplifying the nomination process.

These changes are a first step to provide more equitable access to PR for all TSS visa holders while the government continues work on reforms to the skilled visa programs following the development of the Outline of the Migration Strategy and in response to the Review of the Migration System 2023.

Who will these changes apply to?

Changes to the TSS visa will apply to new applications lodged on or after 25 November 2023*. Changes to the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream nomination requirements will apply to new ENS/RSMS nomination applications and applications that are yet to be finally determined as at 25 November 2023*.

While the changes will increase access to PR for temporary skilled workers, migration program planning levels will not change.

What will be changing?
Changes from 25 November 2023*
All short-term stream TSS visa applications can be lodged

in Australia

•     Limits on the number of Short-term stream TSS applications visa holders can make in Australia will be removed. Applicants who wish to lodge a third or more Short term-stream TSS visa can do so

from onshore.

•     Short term stream TSS holders with visas expiring before the changes will need to travel outside Australia to lodge a third short term-stream TSS application.

Changes to nomination requirements for the TRT stream of the ENS and RSMS visa subclasses
Changes from 25 November 2023*
Eligible visa requirements for ENS/RSMS nominations •     Employers will be able to nominate holders of all TSS visa streams, including Short-term and Labour Agreement streams.

The nominated person will need to have held their TSS (or subclass 457) visa(s) for 2 out of the 3 years before nomination.

•     The RSMS visa will continue to be restricted to transitional 457 workers and transitional 482 workers.

Nominated occupation requirements •     Nominated occupations will no longer be assessed against skilled migration occupation lists.

•     The nominated occupation will need to be listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) and the nominated worker will need to continue to work in the occupation nominated for their TSS visa(s).

Work experience requirements •     The period in which TSS visa holders are required to have worked in a position with their sponsoring employer (or in the occupation for medical practitioners and certain executives) will be reduced to 2 out of the 3 years before nomination.

Changes to visa requirements for the TRT stream of the ENS and RSMS visa subclasses

Changes from 25 November 2023*
Age exemption requirements •     Changes will be made to age exemptions for regional medical practitioner applicants and high income earning applicants aged 45 years and over to allow for a two-year pathway.

•     COVID-19 related age exemptions that will become redundant as a result of the two-year pathway, will be ended.

The Department of Home Affairs has set 25 November 2023 for implementing changes to the employer-sponsored permanent residency program.

Once the ENS reforms have been implemented, short-term Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) 482 visa holders will gain access to permanent residency under the 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the 186 ENS visa program.

Frequently asked questions

Will the current policy of allowing a person on a 2 year visa to apply for a subclass 186 TRT visa when they reach the 23 month mark, continue, so as to avoid the expense of applying for a new 482 visa?

Currently, to prevent inefficiencies resulting from the 457/TSS visa ceasing a few days short of a visa holder meeting the three year requirement and necessitating obtaining a further TSS visa to meet this requirement, DHA can consider applications where lodgement has occurred a few days prior to the three year date. A similar approach would apply when the eligibility period is reduced to two years.

When it is stated that the person must use the same ANZSCO code for the 186 TRT visa as they hold on the 482/457 visa, will this be the 4 digit or 6 digit ANZSCO? 

The nominated occupation will need to have has the same 4-digit ANZSCO occupation unit group code as the occupation in relation to which the identified person’s most recently held Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa or Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa was granted. This is an existing requirement and would not be changing. It works alongside the requirement for the 457/TSS holder to have been employed in the same position with the sponsoring employer (or employed in the occupation for medical practitioners and certain executives).

For applicants who have a 482 visa based on having an occupation with the code 070499, will they be able to use this code of a 186 TRT application even though it is not technically an ANZSCO code?

DHA are not currently planning on making changes to the requirement that the nominated occupation be listed in ANZSCO. This will mean those holding a TSS visa in relation to the labour agreement defined occupation code 070499 would not be eligible for the temporary residence transition stream. A pathway will continue to be available in the labour agreement stream of the ENS visa were permitted under the terms of the labour agreement.

186 Temporary Residence Transition Stream Age Limit Exemptions

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