Australia’s New Pathway to Permanent Residency for Skilled Workers

three men laughing while looking in the laptop inside room

Who benefits with these reforms?

Anyone on a subclass 482 visa especially those currently on a STSOL occupation (subject to meeting all the other nomination and visa requirements for the subclass 186 TRT visa).


Australia’s migration system is set to undergo significant changes starting from November 25, 2023. These changes are aimed at providing temporary skilled workers on subclass 482 visas, with a clearer pathway to permanent residency. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through these upcoming reforms, highlighting key points and action steps.

The Path to Permanent Residency

The Australian government is implementing changes to ensure that subclass 482 visa holders have a viable route to Permanent Residency. This is primarily achieved through reforms to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) / subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) visa, opening up new opportunities for short-term subclass 482 visa holders.

Sponsorship Overview

Under the new regulations, all subclass 482 visa holders can be sponsored by their employers for subclass 186 TRT visas. To qualify, applicants must continue working in the occupation for which they were initially nominated on their subclass 482 visas. Sponsored visa holders become eligible for the subclass 186 TRT visa after two years (currently 3 years) of employment from their sponsorship on their subclass 482 visas. It’s important to meet all other nomination and visa requirements for the subclass 186 TRT visa.

Who Can Be Nominated

Employers can nominate subclass 482 visa holders across all streams for the 186 TRT visa. This includes both short-term and Labor Agreement streams, provided that the 457 or 482 visa holder has worked for the same employer for at least two out of the last three years in their nominated occupation.

What Skilled Occupation List do you have to be on

Notably, the assessment of nominated occupations for subclass 186 TRT visa applications will no longer rely on the skilled occupation list. Previously, 482 visa holders were restricted to nominated occupations listed under the MLTSSL (Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List) with a few exceptions. The new requirement states that the nominated occupation only needs to be listed in the ANZSCO Occupations dictionary.

Age Exemption Provisions

Regional Medical Practitioners and those earning the Fair Work High Income Threshold each year (aged 45 and above), will now have access to age exemption provisions after two years instead of the previous three years.

Changes for those on STSOL Occupations

From November 25, 2023, individuals with subclass 482 visas on a Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will no longer face restrictions on submitting more than two short-term 482 visa applications onshore.


Please note that the legislation has now been passed and commences 25 November 2023. For more detailed information or to discuss these changes further, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at for a confidential consultation.

Please see and download the Government’s fact sheet here  (Opens in a new window).