There are many benefits to becoming a permanent resident in Australia. However, with all the subclasses of visas available, trying to work out your pathways to permanent residency on your own can be difficult. That’s why this week we’ve put together a guide to a selection of Australian visas and what your options are for permanent residency.
The 189 visa grants permanent residence to skilled workers whose occupation is on the Medium and Long Term Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL).
To be granted the visa, an applicant must also achieve a qualifying score on the SkillSelect Points Test (also known as the Australian PR Points Test). The qualifying score can vary, depending on the level of demand shown for occupations.
After achieving the score, the applicant must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the Australian Government. Before they can apply for the 189 visa, they must receive an invitation from the Government to apply.
Subclass 189: New Zealand Stream for Subclass 444: Special Category Visa holders
The 444 visa allows citizens from New Zealand to work, live, visit, stay and study in Australia. Those holding the 444 visa who have lived in Australia now have the opportunity to transition to a permanent resident visa.
To transition your 444 visa, you must meet certain requirements:
- You must have lived in Australia for at least five years by the time you lodge your permanent visa application
- You must be earning an amount of taxable income that is equivalent (or higher) to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
- You pass the health, character and security checks
If an applicant does not quite meet the qualifying score on the SkillSelect Points Test, they might consider applying for a 190 visa. The 190 State Nominated visa is a permanent residence visa for candidates with occupations on the relevant State or Territory occupation list.
To be able to apply for the 190 visa, you must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory Government.
The 887 is a permanent resident visa that can be acquired by those who have previously held the subclass 489 Skilled Regional Provisional visa for a specific amount of time.
To obtain a 489 visa, the applicant must be nominated by a State or Territory Government. They must also be living in a regional or low-population area of Australia for a minimum of two years and be working in that area for at least one year. To be eligible for an 887 visa, you must also meet these requirements.
Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (Subclass 482 TSS Visa)
The 457 visa was replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa in March this year. However, for those already on the 457 visa before it was replaced, the pathway to permanent residency is the same as that of the TSS visa*.
If your job is on the Medium and Long Term Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL), your TSS visa will be granted for four years. You will then have an opportunity to transition your visa to an employer-nominated permanent resident visa after a qualifying period of three years.
However, if your job is on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), your TSS visa will be granted for two years. While you’ll have the opportunity to renew the visa for an additional two years, you won’t be able to transition to an employer-nominated permanent resident visa.
The 186 visa is a permanent resident visa for skilled workers who have a nominating Australian employer.
There are two streams for the subclass 186 visa:
- Transitional stream: You held a 457 and/or a TSS visa and worked for the same employer while on this visa for a minimum of three years*, and your employer is willing to nominate you for a 186 visa.
- Direct entry stream: Your occupation is on the Medium and Long-Term Skilled Occupation List (MTSOL) and you meet the criteria for a skills assessment in your occupation. You’ve also worked a minimum of three years at a skilled level in your occupation and you have an employer willing to nominate you for a 186 visa.
As with the 186 visa, the 187 visa is a permanent resident visa for a skilled worker with a nominating Australian employer. However, the difference is that the employer is nominating the applicant to work with their business in a regional area of Australia.
There are two streams for this visa also:
- Transition stream: You held a 457 and/or a TSS visa and worked for the same employer while on this visa for a minimum of three years*, and your employer is willing to nominate you for a 186 visa to work for their business in a regional part of Australia.
- Direct entry stream: You meet the occupation and skills qualification requirements for the subclass 187 RSMS visa and you have a nominating employer who wants you to work from a regional area of Australia.
The permanent partner (801) visa is unconditional and can usually be applied for after 2 years from the date of application for the 820 visa.
The 820 visa must be applied for from within Australia. This is useful for those who are already in Australia on a different valid visa and are meeting the requirements for the Subclass 820 visa, as the application will result in a bridging visa, which will allow you to remain in Australia, while your partner visa application is processed.
The Subclass 100 permanent partner visa is granted to the holder of a Subclass 309 visa, This visa is for those who previously held the subclass 309 offshore temporary visa. Usually, you can apply for the 100 visa 2 years from the date of application for the 309 visa. The 100 visa is unconditional, meaning it will still be valid even if the relationship ends.
The subclass 309 visa is a temporary partner visa. It allows the de facto partner or spouse of an Australian permanent resident, citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen to move to Australia in order to live with their partner. As such, it is necessary that the applicant is in an ongoing relationship with their sponsoring partner.
This visa allows the parent of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen living in Australia, to live permanently in Australia.
This is not a practical option as even if you are applying from within Australia you will not be entitled to a bridging visa to remain in Australia during the processing of the visa application. It is thus an impractical choice of visa because the processing time is currently 30+ years.
Nevertheless, some of the requirements for the Subclass 103 visa include:
- You meet the criteria for the health and character checks.
- More than half your children must be living in Australia as permanent residents.
- You must be nominated by at least one child who has lived in Australia as a permanent resident for a minimum of two years (prior to the visa application).
This visa allows an aged parent of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen that is living in Australia to live permanently in Australia. An aged parent is someone at the Australian pension age or older.
This visa must be applied for from within Australia and applicants will be granted a bridging visa which allows them to remain in Australia during the lengthy visa processing time of (currently) 30+ years.
The requirements for this visa are the same as the 103 visa requirements.
As with the 103 visa, the 143 visa allows the parent of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen to live in Australia as a permanent resident.
After a qualifying period of time holding the 143 visa, the permanent resident may also transition to citizenship.
This is a much more viable option for those applying from outside Australia since the processing time is faster. To be eligible for this visa you must meet similar requirements listed in the 103 visa section above, however, you do not need to be of pensionable age before you can apply.
The 864 visa is also a permanent visa for aged parents of Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens living in Australia.
However, unlike the 804 visa where the processing time is 30+ years, the 864 visa is a far more practical option for those wanting permanent residence.
To acquire this visa, there are some prerequisites you must meet. These are similar to those listed for the 103 visa. This visa is applied for onshore and provides an applicant with a bridging visa to remain onshore during the visa processing period.
Similar to the 143 visa, after a qualifying period the visa holder can go on to become an Australian citizen.
This visa allows successful applicants to establish a new business in Australia or develop an existing one.
There are two streams for the 132 visa. These are:
- Significant Business History: You are a business owner (part-time or high calibre) wanting to do business in Australia.
- Venture Capital Entrepreneur: You have sourced funding for venture capital from a member of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL).
To be eligible to receive this visa you must meet these requirements:
- You must be nominated by a state or territory government agency and be invited to apply for the visa
- You must either be in the Significant Business History stream or the Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream; each stream has its own funding requirements
This visa is for those who previously held the subclass 188 visa and currently meet the requirements for permanent residency.
There are four streams for this visa:
- Subclass 888A Business Innovation stream
- Subclass 888B Investor stream
- Subclass 888SIV Significant Investor stream
- Subclass 888PIV Premium Investor stream
* Unless your Subclass 457 was applied for or granted before 18 April 2017, when the requirements in place at that time will apply. This means you need to have two years with the same employer to apply for permanent residence via the Subclass 186 or Subclass 187 transitional pathway and the new occupation lists will not apply to you.
How can I find out more?
AHWC Immigration Law are Australian visa specialists who can help you navigate your pathways to permanent residency. We handle your visa application from start to finish, eliminating the stress and confusion of having to do everything by yourself. Call us today on 1300 887 818 and speak to a friendly consultant to find out more.