AUSTRALIA – Permanent Residence Pathway Expansion Proposed

November 8, 2023

In a bid to extend permanent residency (PR) to temporary skilled workers, the government of Australia is proposing a number of changes to the existing system.

An issue for Australian immigration has been growing numbers of workers who are de facto “permanent temporary” visa holders. Under the current framework, these visa holders are unable to meet the requirements necessary for PR. This includes workers with highly sought-after skills who hold a Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visas. Proposed changes will allow visa holders to be nominated for PR visas through the Temporary Residence Transitional stream of the Subclass 186 ENS or 187 RSMS visas (additional eligibility requirements for RSMS apply).

Among the key changes proposed are:

  • Elimination of the limited number of short-term stream TSS applications a worker can file from within Australia
  • Ability for employers to nominate holders of all TSS visa streams – including under a Labour Agreement – for a transitional ENS Visa
  • Removal of occupation lists for transitional stream applications, provided the occupation is listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)
  • Reduction in work experience for TSS holders from 3 to 2 years before a transitional ENS nomination
  • Alignment of the age exemption requirements for regional medical practitioner applicants and high-income earning applicants aged 45 years and over to allow for a two-year pathway

Applicants should note that all other requirements for a transitional ENS application still apply, including:

  • Being less than 45 years of age (unless an exemption applies)
  • Competent level English language ability for primary applicant
  • Minimum salary of at least AU$70,000 per annum (in line with TSMIT)
  • Health and character requirements

Immigration Insights

The proposed changes will go into effect on 25 November, pending regulatory approval. We will continue to follow developments related to the proposed PR changes and provide updates as required.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.