Age Limit for PR in Australia Over 45 Visa Options Explained

Age No Barrier: Permanent Residency Paths for Individuals Above 45 Years

Age Limit for PR in Australia – Exploring PR Pathways for 45+

Are you over 45 and want to move to Australia permanently?

Are you eligible for an age exemption?

When can you apply for permanent residency?

Uncover the specific age-related criteria and explore viable PR pathways for individuals aspiring to settle down in Australia.

Most permanent visa types have certain restrictions placed on them on who is eligible to apply and be approved as a permanent resident.

The restrictions can come in the form of occupation, annual earnings, visa history or even what age someone can be to apply for a specific visa subclass.

The Australian migration programs that allow people over 45 years old to apply for permanent residency are:

The cut-off age for Skilled Migration Program (subclass 189 Independent, 190, 491 visas) is 45 and there are no exemptions.

Age Limit for PR in Australia-186 Employer Sponsored Permanent visa 

The subclass 186 Employer Sponsored Permanent visa has an age limit of 45 at the time of application.

However, there are exemptions for this visa subclass that assist an applicant over the age of 45 to be eligible for it.

Age Exemptions available under 186 Visa 

There are age exemptions available under both:

  • Direct Entry and
  • Temporary Residency Transition streams.

The exempted occupations can be found in the legislative instrument LIN 19/216 that outlines all the exemptions applicable to this subclass dependent on age, English language, or skills.

The first is academic applicants that are applying for key positions within the academia field. Most notably, it enables nominations made by Australian Universities for either University Lecturers or Faculty Heads.

The other areas that are often called upon to be filled in despite age limits that are firmly in place otherwise, is in the field of regional medical practitioners. Australia’s regional areas are almost always requiring more skilled individuals to render further aid due to shortages in key areas, not the least of which being the medical practitioner fields.

To be eligible, the applicant must have been working in a designated regional area, as a medical practitioner and as the holder of a subclass 457 or 482 visa. Additionally, during the 3 years ending immediately before the day the visa application is made, the person spent at least 2 years (whether made up of a continuous period or 2 or more non-consecutive periods) employed, as a medical practitioner, at a place or places that, at the time, were located in a designated regional area.

Another designated occupation that has been granted exceptions for the age limit is the science applicant including researcher, scientist and technical scientist. A science applicant is an individual that has been nominated by a science organisation and has been given an ANZSCO code nomination of level one or two.

A subclass 457/482 worker who has been employed for a period of at least 2 years and had earnings equal to or grater than the FairWork High Income Threshold or a transitional 457 worker under 50 are also eligible to apply for 186 ENS permanent residency under the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

The 186 Direct entry stream also allows subclass 444/461 workers over 45 to apply for permeant residency as long as they have worked for at least 2 years for the nominating employer on a subclass 444 (Special Category) Visa or subclass 461 (New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship) Visa.

TSS 482 Visa – A key strategy for individuals surpassing the age limit

While it is not a permanent visa for people over the age of 45, the subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa is a great option for someone who is fast approaching the age of 45 or is over 45 but still wishes to come to Australia and work for some time on this visa. If the visa holder is able to secure sponsorship on a high salary and the guaranteed earnings for each year are equal to or grater than the high income threshold (as applying at the ned of the year) than the permanent residency is still a possibility.

Age Limit for PR in Australia – 494 Visa 

Age Exemptions under the Employer Sponsored Stream

The following applicants are not required to have been under 45 if they are:

  • academic applicants
  • regional medical practitioner applicants
  • science applicants
  • subclass 444/461 workers
  • subclass 457/482 workers earning high income

Age Limit for PR in Australia – Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)

The Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is one of the most popular skilled migration programs Australian regional employers use.

The program allows employers to access a greater pool of overseas workers and offer visa sponsorship giving the foreign workers the right to remain in Australia for an extended period.

As of 2023, 12 DAMA agreements are in place across Australia, each catering to specific regional needs and labour shortages.

Here’s a snapshot of some of them:

DAMA South Australia: Includes two agreements, one focusing on Adelaide’s growing technology industries like Defence, Space, Technology, and advanced manufacturing industries, and the other focusing on regional high-growth industries such as Agribusiness.

DAMA Western Australia: The agreements here cater to various areas, like the East Kimberley and the Goldfields, each targeting specific occupational shortages.

DAMA Queensland: Two DAMAs are currently in effect in Queensland – the Far North Queensland DAMA and the Townsville North Queensland Destination Area Migration Agreement, each catering to the needs of their respective areas.

DAMA Victoria: This region has two DAMAs – the Goulburn Valley DAMA and the Great South Coast DAMA, catering to the specific needs of these areas.

DAMA Northern Territory: The Northern Territory DAMA is unique, encompassing an entire state area.

DAMA Orana, New South Wales: The Orana DAMA, focused on regional development, is the only existing agreement in New South Wales.

DAMA program allows flexibility in terms of age limit for PR in Australia. When highly skilled applicants are fulfilling niche positions, the age limit can be extended through an ‘age concession’, permitting individuals older than 45 to be eligible for permanent residency.

Age Limit for PR in Australia-858 Distinguished Talent Visa

The subclass 858 Distinguished Talent Visa is another visa type available to applicants who are over 45 years old. It is a visa subclass that normally has an age limit of 55. In order to be eligible for this visa subclass, you must firstly have internationally recognized proof of your skill level and capabilities.

This can be within the fields of sports, arts, academia, research or even a profession. This is done through promoting yourself as being exceptional within your chosen field of achievement, and needing to be acclaimed as exceptional within your chosen country within your field. The field must also be one that is recognized as legitimate within Australia, and has international standing. The applicant must also be nominated by an individual or organisation, with expertise in the same field.

The nominator must be either an: Australian Citizen, Australian permanent Resident, an eligible New Zealand Citizen or an Australian Organization. If you were chosen by the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy or supported by the Minister or Director-General responsible for national security, you will not need a nominator. Instead, you will simply have to provide evidence of your endorsement.

Age Limit for PR in Australia-188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa

For individuals that are not internationally recognised in their area of expertise however they have an impressive business background, there is the option of going for a Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa. This is a visa subclass primarily devoted to those who seek to run their own business within Australia, engage in management of a business or even undertake an investment activity. The key aspect of this Visa that makes it attractive for an applicant over 45 is that it has an applicant age limit of under 55 years of age.

An important aspect of this visa subclass though is that you must submit an expression of interest over Skillselect and have at least 65 points in the points test. You must be nominated by a state or territory government agency or through the organization of Austrade. Finally, and most importantly, you must be invited to be able to apply for this subclass of Visa. There are many streams that can be offered throughout this subclass, ranging from Business innovation and investor all the way to more advanced option such as entrepreneur.

Age Limit for PR in Australia-Australia Partner Visa

There are other options for a permanent visa under the Family Migration Program, such as the subclass 820 or subclass 309 , the Temporary and Permanent Partner Visas respectively. The partner visa subclasses do not have an upper age limit requirement.

This subclass of visa does however require that the applicant be in a genuine and continuing relationship with an Australian Citizen, permanent resident or eligible NZ citizen meaning that the applicant must supply proof that they are in a de-facto relationship or be in a marriage with one another.

The applicant and the sponsor must have at-least known one another for a period of twelve months to prove that the relationship is a genuine one. Alternatively, your relationship can be registered with an Australian authority such as registry of births, deaths and marriages.

However, this subclass is naturally reliant on the ability for a prospective applicant to be able to have a long-term relationship already ongoing with an Australian sponsor.

Age Limit for PR in Australia-Australia Parent Visa

Finally, another option to consider if you are seeking permanent visa options after being over the age of 45 is the option to apply for a Parent Visa. These visa subtypes are varied, as can be found in our article ‘Parent Visa Australia Options for migration to Australia’ on the matter; ranging from both contributory Parent Visas to more standard parent Visas.

Both with their own advantages and disadvantages. However, the key factor in going for any of the parent visas is that you are eligible for them regardless of your age provided you pass the balance of family test requirements that are needed to be fulfilled in order to be eligible.

As you can see, getting permanent residency in Australia when you are over 45 is a difficult process but not impossible.

Practical Tips and Resources

  1. Design and develop an immigration strategy to ensure a successful migration to Australia, taking into consideration age limit for PR in Australia
  2. Seek professional advice and assistance with your visa application, work closely with your migration agent
  3. If you are a high income earner, check the FairWork website to stay updated on changes to the High Income Threshold
  4. Ensure all required documents are complete and genuine, complete necessary health examinations and apply for police clearances
  5. Answer all questions on the visa application form thoroughly and comprehensively, avoid false details or misrepresentations
  6. Submit your application well before any deadlines to allow for any unforeseen delays.

Contact Visa Lounge team of registered migration agents in Brisbane to discuss your visa options, taking into consideration the age limit for PR in Australia, as it is crucial to research and understand the specific requirements for your visa application thoroughly.

With over 15 years experience managing visa applications, our migration agency will provide you with the best guidance throughout the visa process.

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.

  • Cini Thomas
    06/02/2024 at 19:40  -  Reply

    I am a nurse working in NZ for the last 4 months. Like to move to Australia, preferably in Queensland. But I will turn 47 in March 2024. Am I eligible to apply for PR for Australia with family? My husband is 52

    • Hi Cini, the age limit for skilled migration is 45. You can look into the DAMA programs in Townsville or Far North QLD Cairns as these programs come with age exemptions; for DAMA you will require sponsorship from an Australian business; hope this helps; thank you

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