482 Visa to 186 Visa: Expanded PR pathways for 482 Visa Holders

Expanded PR pathways for 482 Visa Holders

Pathways to permanent residency (PR) were recently expanded for employer-sponsored 482 visa holders.

The Migration Amendment (Expanding Access to Temporary Residence Transition Stream) Regulations 2023 have been introduced to create more opportunities for subclass 482 skilled workers to access Australian permanent residence more easily.

These are significant reforms, making Australian PR available to many people who previously had no way of permanently residing here.



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    Key Changes

    • Effective from 25 November 2023, eligible 482 visa holders can be nominated for PR after two years of work on a 482 visa with the same sponsor in the same occupation, through the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the subclass 186 visa. Previously, people applying for the 186 visa via TRT had to work for their employer sponsor for three years; this has now been reduced to just two years.
    • This includes 482 visa holders sponsored in occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and Regional Occupation List (ROL).
    • Occupations no longer need to be on a specific skilled occupation list to be eligible for a 186 TRT PR visa. This means that future PR pathways won’t be interrupted if an occupation shifts between lists or is removed from a list.
    • All employers, including those who sponsor workers through a Labour Agreement (LA) are permitted to nominate individuals under the TRT stream.
    • There is no longer a limit on the number of short-term 482 visa applications people can make onshore.
    • 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 exemptions have been discontinued.

    Are you eligible for PR?

    One of our Registered Migration Agents can check your eligibility for permanent residency via these expanded pathways if you complete our online assessment form.

    Why move from 482 visa to 186 visa?

    There are many benefits associated with Australian PR, including greater access to social security benefits, lower education costs and a pathway to Australian citizenship.

    Why have these pathways been introduced?

    Many temporary skilled visa holders in Australia struggle to become permanent residents, leaving a growing number stuck on temporary visas.

    These changes aim to make it fairer for all 482 visa holders to apply for permanent residency.

    At the same time, the Government is working on bigger reforms in visa programs, following the 2023 Migration System Review’s findings and shaping the Migration Strategy Outline.


    Are these changes permanent?

    Although we cannot predict future Immigration directions, we believe that this major legislative change will remain in place.

    Is this for new people or does it apply to people already sponsored on 482 visas?

    It applies to both. If you are sponsored on a 482 visa in the coming months or beyond, you will have a PR pathway regardless of which skilled occupation list your job is on.

    Does this mean you no longer require a skill assessment?

    There is no skill assessment required for a PR application through the 186 TRT stream. If you intend to apply for a 186 PR visa through the Direct Entry (DE) stream, a skill assessment is mandatory and your occupation must be on the MLTSSL list, among other eligibility requirements. The announcement on 25 November 2023 does not apply to 186 Direct Entry applications.

    I no longer hold a 482 visa but I did previously. Can I apply?

    Unfortunately, no. To be eligible under the new rules, you would need to hold a 482 visa and demonstrate that you have worked for the sponsoring employer for at least 2 of the past 3 years at the time of lodging a 186 TRT PR visa.

    Will people who have spent closer to 3 years on a 482 visa be prioritised?

    There is no priority process for 482 visa holders who are close to meeting the previous three year requirement. However, they can now be nominated without waiting until three years, provided other requirements are met.

    I’ve been with the company over 2 years but I have only held a 482 visa for 1 year. Do I

    You need to hold the 482 for two years. Time spent working for an employer on other visas such as a 417 Working Holiday visa, a COVID 408 visa or 485 visa does not count toward the two years work requirement.

    Get in touch now to find out how we can help you contact us