482 visa to PR – Understanding Permanent Residency visa options

482 Visa to PR – Understanding the Permanent Residency Pathways in Australia

Obtaining permanent residency in Australia for individuals holding a 482 visa is a significant milestone.

While the TSS 482 visa, also known as the Temporary Skill Shortage visa, allows foreign workers to work in Australia temporarily, many individuals aspire to transition from a 482 visa to PR (permanent residency).

Understanding the various pathways available is crucial for those seeking long-term settlement in Australia.

Overview of the Permanent Residency Pathways

Fortunately, there are pathways that enable 482 visa holders to apply for permanent residency in Australia.

In this article, I discuss the current employer-sponsored permanent residency pathways, keeping in mind that I expect changes to be announced to the 186 visa program by the Department of Home Affairs in the coming weeks.

Available Permanent Residency Pathways as of today, 20 October 2023, are:

Countries Eligible to Transition from 482 Visa to PR

Individuals from all countries around the world are eligible to apply for Australian Permanent Residency, either via 482 visa to PR or other pathways depending on personal circumstances.

There are no restrictions in terms of nationality or country of passport however, applicants must meet certain legislative criteria, including being sponsored by an eligible Australian employer and have the nominated occupation listed on the specified skilled occupations list.

Essential Criteria for Subclass 186 Visa Employer Nomination Scheme

This visa enables employers to nominate employees who are foreign nationals to fill a full-time position within their organisation on a permanent basis.

The process for the grant of permanent residence comprises two stages:

  1. The nomination application by the employer, and
  2. The personal application by the nominee and any family members for permanent residence.

There are three main eligibility streams being:

  1. The Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream – for certain applicants who have been working in Australia for the business on a 457 visa and/or TSS 482 visa for at least three years,
  2. The Direct Entry (DE) stream – for certain applicants with occupations listed on the Medium to Long-Term List
  3. The Labour Agreement stream – for certain applicants who have already been working in Australia for the business on a 457 visa and/or TSS 482 visa granted subject to the terms and conditions of a Labour Agreement.

186 Visa is the main pathway from a 482 visa to PR.

186 Visa Case Study – Nominated Occupation Engineering Manager on TSS 482 Visa

This is a real-life example of a 186 visa assessment that VISA LOUNGE AUSTRALIA team has completed for one of our corporate clients, an engineering company from South Australia.

The applicant was a British citizen, under 45 years old, single.

Applicant Employer Nomination Scheme – 186 Visa
Eligibility stream and skills requirements For the purpose of the TRT stream, the applicant will need to:

  1. currently hold a TSS visa in a Medium-Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) occupation; and
  2. show that he has worked with the sponsor in an MLTSSL occupation as a TSS visa holder for a period of at least 3 years.

We note that the applicant currently holds a TSS visa that was granted 25 January 2021 in the nominated occupation of Engineering Manager, and he began working with the sponsor on 25 March 2021. As such, the earliest at which he would be eligible to transition from 482 visa to PR under the TRT stream would be in around 26 March 2024 once he has acquired 3 years of experience on his TSS visa.

For the purpose of the DE stream, the applicant will need to:

  1. be nominated in an MLTSSL occupation,
  2. have his qualifications and experience successfully assessed by the relevant body
  3. show that he has at least 3 years’ full-time experience directly relevant to the nominated occupation – this can be undertaken either in Australia and/or offshore

Please note that this experience must be full-time (or pro-rata) and not casual employment, and must also align with the chosen ANZSCO occupation.

Skills Assessment

In order to be eligible under the DE stream, the applicant must obtain a positive skills assessment in his nominated occupation from the relevant skills assessing authority for his occupation. The relevant skills assessing authority for Engineering Manager is Engineers Australia.

Once he has obtained a positive skills assessment, he will then need to evidence to the Department of Home Affairs that he has obtained 3 years of full-time, relevant work experience in his nominated occupation post-qualification.

As such, if the applicant is able to obtain a positive assessment via the Engineers Australia, we assess he will be eligible to transition from 482 visa to PR under the 186 DE stream.

English Testing As the applicant is of British nationality, he will be exempt from demonstrating his English ability.
Health and character clearances For the purposes of the application, the applicant will need to:

  1. undertake health examinations; and
  2. provide police clearances for all countries he has lived in for more than 12 months (cumulatively) during the last 10 years.
Indicative processing times Skills assessment – approximately 15 weeks or 20 business days with fast-track application

186 visa application – Applications in both streams are being processed in approximately 5-12 months. We are currently seeing applications being processed in faster timeframes.

Essential Criteria for DAMA Program

Dama australia process
DAMA Australia Step By Step Process

DAMA is a very popular program amongst the Australian employers based in regional areas of Australia and particularly older applicants (over 45 years of age) who can no longer transition from a 482 visa to PR via the standard 186 visa program.

One of our clients, a restaurant in Cairns, sponsored a Restaurant Supervisor for a 482 Visa under the FNQ Designated Area Migration Agreement.

DAMA Visa Case Study – Nominated Occupation Restaurant Supervisor , DAMA Program – FNQ Cairns

This is a real-life example of a DAMA process that VISA LOUNGE AUSTRALIA team has completed for one of our clients, a fine-dinning restaurant located in Cairns, Far North QLD.

The applicant was a German citizen, 25 years old, who arrived in Australia on a working holiday visa, applied for a student visa in Australia and completed a Diploma in Hospitality Management.

VISA LOUNGE AUSTRALIA migration specialist prepared and lodged on behalf of the business and the applicant:

  • the DAR Endorsement application with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Cairns (part of this process, we advised the business on labour market testing requirements and how to fill out the supporting documentation), the application was approved in few weeks without any questions from the CCIC
  • the Labour Agreement application for the position of Restaurant Supervisor, the application was approved in a couple of months
  • the Skills Assessment application for Restaurant Supervisor with Vetassess under the DAMA stream, the skills assessment application was approved within two weeks
  • the business nomination under the approved DAMA Labour Agreement
  • the visa application supported by detailed employment references, positive skills assessment, English test, Australian qualification

The applicant’s visa was approved and after she will complete 3 years of full-time employment with her sponsor, she can move from 482 visa to PR with sponsorship from the restaurant.

Our team has assisted various employers in Far North Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and regional Victoria to sponsor skilled workers under the DAMA Australia programs.

DAMA is one of our areas of expertise and we can prepare applications for all 12 DAMA regions. 

Essential Criteria for Subclass 191 Skilled Regional (Residence) Visa 

To apply for the skilled regional visa, a 494 visa holder will need to demonstrate that:

  • has complied with the conditions of the subclass 494 visa
  • has lived, worked and studied in a designated area of Australia in the 3 years prior to making an application for the subclass 191 visa
  • has only worked in the nominated occupation whilst the 494 visa has been in effect
  • has only worked for the the business sponsor whilst the 494 visa has been in effect
  • is of good character
  • meets the health requirements for a permanent visa

191 Visa Case Study – Nominated Occupation Contract Administrator on 494 Visa, location Adelaide 

This is a real-life example of a 191 visa assessment that VISA LOUNGE AUSTRALIA team has completed for one of our clients, an engineering company based in South Australia.

The applicant was from Chile, 37 years old, single.

  • The applicant’s Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa was granted on 2 March 2021
  • The applicant has been living in Australian designated areas (i.e. designated areas in Adelaide, South Australia) since March 2021and has evidence of rental agreements
  • The applicant has been continuously working for the sponsor, in the occupation of Contracts Administrator in an Australian designated area while he has been in Australia on a 494 visa
  • The applicant has complied with any requests from the Department of Home Affairs to provide evidence of his living/working in an Australian designated area within the appropriate timeframe.
  • The applicant has lodged his tax returns for the last 3 financial years and does not have any debts to the Australian government;
  • The applicant has indicated that there are no character disclosures for him; and
  • The applicant is generally in good health.

Accordingly, we advised that the applicant will be eligible to apply for Skilled Regional (Residency) (subclass 191) from 2 March 2024.

As an Australian permanent resident, the applicant will be able to (among other things) work and study anywhere in Australia, sponsor other eligible family members for permanent residency, access Australia’s health care system via Medicare and if eligible, apply to become an Australian citizen.


We can assist with the DAMA process, standard business sponsorships, 482 visa applications, 494 visa applications and transitions to 186 and 191 permanent residency visas.

482 Visa to PR with top-rated support!

Published by Maddie Phillips

Australian Immigration Law Specialist with over 12 years experience, I provide high touch immigration solutions for businesses and individuals, all aspects of Australian immigration law. OMARA Licenced, Member Migration Institute of Australia and Australian Human Resources Institute.

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