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TSS visa to PR: What is the process to permanent residency from a Subclass 482 visa?

By 1 June, 2021May 2nd, 202418 Comments8 min read


Australia often ranks among the most livable countries in the world, making it an attractive destination for migrants. For skilled migrants, the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) (TSS) visa grants businesses the right to employ and sponsor foreign workers on the skilled occupation list on a temporary basis. The duration of these visas can be up to 4 years, depending on the nominated occupation. In some cases, these visa holders may have a pathway to permanent residence.

How does the occupation impact duration and permanent residence?

Occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) can be granted TSS visas with a duration of up to two years (with the possibility of one renewal in Australia).

Occupations listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL) can lead to TSS visas granted with a duration of 4 years and unlimited renewals onshore, provided an applicant continues to meet other eligibility criteria.

Importantly, all occupations in the above lists have an employer sponsored pathway to permanent residence.

How does the TSS visa provide a pathway to permanent residence?

There are other benefits to a TSS visa besides the ability to live and work in Australia provisionally. In some cases, a TSS visa opens the doorway to eventual permanent residence through the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) (ENS) visa. Visa holders who wish to explore the TSS to permanent residency option generally have two pathways: the Temporary Residence Transition Stream or Direct Entry.

Pathway 1: What is the Temporary Residence Transition Stream?

If you are a TSS visa holder who has worked in Australia with the same employer for at least two years, you may qualify for permanent residency under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream. Eligibility is based on the following:

  • You must hold a valid 457 or TSS visa at the time of application
  • You must be sponsored by a nominating employer for whom you have worked for at least two years
  • You must work in an occupation that is listed on the MLTSSL STSOL or the ROL
  • You must demonstrate English proficiency unless you qualify for an exemption. Assistance is available for applicants who need to improve their English before applying
  • You must be under the age of 45 or qualify for an exemption
  • You must meet the health and character requirements

Depending on your location, you will either apply for permanent residency via the Employer Nominated Scheme or the Regional Employer Sponsored Scheme. Your employer must meet certain criteria including that they agree to sponsor you, that there is a genuine need for the position, that they lodge a valid nomination, and pay the Skilling Australian Fund levy (among other things).

Pathway 2: What is the Direct Entry Stream?

The Direct Entry (DE) stream is another option for TSS visa holders to obtain PR, even in cases where a foreign worker has not been working with the sponsoring employer for at least three years. This can include applicants who switched jobs after their initial TSS visa was secured, or never held a TSS visa. The eligibility requirements under this stream include:

  • At least 3 cumulative years of work experience in your nominated profession. The experience does not need to be with the same employer, but it must be for the same occupation
  • Applicants must undertake a skills assessment (different occupations are dealt with different skills assessment authorities)
  • Your occupation must be listed on the MLTSSL or the ROL
  • English competency must be demonstrated
  • Applicants must be under age 45
  • You must meet the health and character requirements

As with the other pathways to permanent residency in Australia, certain family members can be included on your application.

What are the fees for the ENS visa application?

A pricing table for the ENS visa application is as follows (additional fees payable for dependents, translations, police clearances, health assessments and other disbursements):

Prof feeOur fees

$ 4,950

inc GST
  • initial advice / review
  • preparation and lodgement of app
  • case management until decision
Contact Us

Govt fee (visa)

$ 4,115

at lodgement
  • may be paid by employer or visa applicant
  • additional $2,060 for > 18 dependent
  • additional $2,060 for < 18 dependent

Govt fee (nom)

$ 540

at lodgement
  • may be paid by employer or visa applicant

Govt fee (SAF levy)

$ 5,000

at lodgement
  • must be paid by employer
  • lower levy if turnover < $10 mil

Note that government lodgement fees change over time. You can refer to the following for up to date information.

Are there other visa options?

Even if you don’t have an employer willing to sponsor you, there are still other pathways to permanent residency in Australia. This includes:

  • The General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program, which pairs foreign workers with Australian employers experiencing skill shortages. They and their families can permanently relocate to Australia under this migration program. Visas issued through the GSM are subject to a points test and are either independent, state/territory, or family-sponsored permanent visas.
  • The Global Talent program if you have international recognition in one of the Department’s targeted sectors.
  • Investor visas if you are a high net worth individual willing to invest in Australia
  • Partner visas if you are in a  relationship with an Australian permanent resident or citizen.

You can also refer to a full list of visa options here.

Can I include family on my TSS to PR Australia application?

Applicants who are applying for permanent residence under the ENS program can include certain family members on their applications. As a rule, applicants may include dependent children or stepchildren and spouses/partners. A few common points to consider include:

  • Children or stepchildren must be from a current or previous relationship and under 18. The only exceptions to the age restrictions is for children aged between 18 to 23 who are dependent on their parents or those over 23 living with a disability that precludes them from supporting themselves
  • Partners can be of the same or opposite sex. You do not need to be legally married if the relationship is ongoing and you can demonstrate a de facto relationship. Partners must be at least 18 when the application is filed
  • All family members included in the application must meet the health and character requirements for Home Affairs. For children over 16, police clearances must be included with the application

What is the difference between permanent residency and citizenship?

Obtaining permanent residency status in Australia is an exciting opportunity and can also lead to eventual Australian citizenship.

Naturalised Australian citizens have all the same rights and responsibilities as those born in the country. They can apply for an Australian passport, travel abroad at their leisure, are eligible to vote in local, state, and national elections, and access student loans to further their education.

Permanent residents have the right to live and work in Australia indefinitely but do not have all the same freedoms as naturalised citizens. For instance, an ENS visa comes with a 5-year travel facility. You can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you desire while your permanent residency travel facility is valid. After this date, permanent residents require a new visa to re-enter Australia (usually a Resident Return (Subclass 155) (RRV) visa). Permanent residents also cannot obtain passports or vote.

Rights and Entitlements
Australian Citizen
Australian Permanent Resident
Travelling Automatic right to entry Must possess a permanent visa with valid travel authority required for a return
Voting Citizens can vote in all government elections No voting rights in most cases
Government Services

and Benefits

Yes, but must follow rules and guidelines set by the relevant agency In some instances, yes. It depends on the rules and guidelines set by the relevant agency

Do you require further information?

Hannan Tew are experienced in representing a wide variety of organisations with their immigration programs from start-ups to global corporations. If you seek our advice about permanent options for your visa holders, or you are a visa applicant seeking permanent residence, feel free to contact our experienced team by email at [email protected] or by phone at +61 3 9016 0484.

Mihan Hannan

Author Mihan Hannan

Formerly a Senior Associate in one of Australia’s most reputable immigration litigation and review practices, Mihan is solutions focused and well versed in all aspects of Australian immigration law. Mihan also has a subscription addiction, being obsessed with tools to improve the firms immigration work flow.

More posts by Mihan Hannan

Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Arpit Singh says:

    Hi Team,

    Just wanted to know what are the option if 482 visa for STSOL is already renewed for next 2 years is about to expire, can sponsor company apply again or it can be applied on MTSOL occupation.


    • admin says:

      Hi Arpit,
      You can generally apply for a second onshore TSS visa without too much challenge (you still need to meet criteria and demonstrate that you are a genuine temporary entrant).
      It’s not a pathway to permanent residence though, so feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss further.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Cris says:

    Hello there,

    I have been working full-time in my eligible position for my current employer in a Regional area for 3.5 years. However I was on a post-grad visa before getting my 482 MTSOL and I have been sponsored for 1.5 years at this stage
    My question is, my 482 was visa granted for 3 years and I have completed half of it under TSS. On that note would I be eligible for a 186 ENS or a 187 RES even though I haven’t completed 3 years under my TSS visa assuming I’ve been working for my current employer/sponsor for the past 3.5 years?

    Thank you in advance.

    • admin says:

      Hi Cris,
      There’s actually two pathways to ENS permanent residence:
      (1) TRTS where you spend 3 years working on a TSS visa with your sponsor in the nominated occupation; or
      (2) DE if you have a skills assessment, and you have 3 years overall experience.
      If you’ve only been with your employer on a TSS visa for 1.5 years, pathway 1 is not available. However, if you get a skills assessment, then you can consider pathway 2.
      Feel free to email us at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss this further.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

      • Cris says:

        Thank you for your quick reply.

        I do have a positive skill assessment, however my position is not on the 186 list, just on MTSOL list for Remote Areas.
        I assuming the 186 DR won’t work then.

        Once again thank you for your help.


  • Steve Millington says:

    On a 482 visa when we apply our son will be 22 years old. His still dependant lives at home doesn’t work etc. Will his 482 visa just be up to when he turns 23?

    • admin says:

      Hi Steve,
      That’s right – assuming the Department accepts he is dependent then he will be granted a 482 visa valid until his 23rd birthday. There are limited circumstances that his visa can be of longer duration after the age of 23 (i.e. living with a disability that precludes them from supporting himself). Feel free to contact us at [email protected] to discuss this further.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Sarah says:

    If I am on a TSS visa until Nov 2022, I put in an application to transition into PR in February 2022 through my employer would I still be able to travel internationally for a holiday whilst waiting for PR to be granted?

    • admin says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for reaching out.
      Yes, as a temporary resident you can travel for holidays (just bear in mind that as it stands, you need a travel exemption to get back into Australia).
      The 186 visa can also be processed whilst you are in or outside of Australia.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Suraj says:

    Just following on to one of the queries above – if the 4th year of my TSS short term stream visa finishes in 2022, is there any option to extend the stay beyond that? This is for financial dealers nec (222299) occupation

    • admin says:

      Hi Suraj,
      As it stands you’ll need to go overseas to lodge a further short term TSS visa (and it will be increasingly difficult to demonstrate that you are a genuine temporary entrant).
      Feel free to contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss your circumstances in more detail.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Rey An says:

    Hi Team

    Just want to ask what if I am already in australia with visa 482 Medium term can I still apply for new visa application for my family without the aid of my current employer?

    Thanks and more power to your team

    • admin says:

      Hi Rey,
      Thanks for reaching out.
      Yes, you can certainly consider making further visa applications even though you hold a 482 visa (you just need to make sure you and / or your family are eligible).
      Feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you’d like our assistance.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Stephen Arogbonlo says:

    I am currently working in Australia on an employer-sponsored TSS 482 visa. I have only worked for my employer for 15 months out of the 4 years my Visa is valid.
    Here is what I need clarification on: Can I apply for an ENS 186 Visa (Direct Entry) if my employer is not willing to sponsor me for the ENS transition stream at this time?
    My Line Manager would be open for an ENS Visa discussion after I have worked for 2-3 years with my employer.
    Awaiting your response.

    • admin says:

      Hi Stephen,
      Yes, broadly speaking you can apply for ENS (Direct Entry) if you have 3 years of post qualification experience and a positive skills assessment. However, you still need your employer to sponsor you for this visa. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] to discuss further.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Arby says:

    Hi, if i have my 482 visa now , under STSOL occupation, then if ever I was lucky to renewed my 482 for another 2yrs, then was able to work for 4yrs in the same employer , can I apply for PR with support of the employer?

    Thanks in advance for your response

    • admin says:

      Hi Arby,
      There are some proposed changes to the TSS program which might allow you to obtain employer sponsored permanent residence even on a STSOl occupation see here). Feel free to contact us at [email protected] to consider non-employer sponsored visa options.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

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