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Work Visas

Even though the TSS or 482 visa is a temporary visa, you can apply for permanent residence through your nominating employer after 3 year’s work….

There are a number of visas which are considered work visas. Of course any permanent visa has the right to work as part of its package of benefits. There are certain visas which require certain skills, such as the subclass 189 Independent Skilled Visa and the subclass 190 Skilled Nominated (by a State or Territory), which provide permanent residency.

But I will now look at visas which are to do with work – some temporary some permanent (and some both, in time!)

A temporary skilled visa which may lead to permanent residence, in time – the Temporary Skills Shortage or 482 visa Long Term stream

In March 2018 the Department of Home Affairs introduced the Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) or subclass 482 visa. This is an employer nominated temporary visa. The TSS visa replaced the subclass 457 visa. A person needs to have two year’s relevant work experience to apply for the visa, and for the nominated occupation to be on a skilled list. There are two skills lists for this visa, the Medium and Long-term Skills list, and the Short-term Skills list.

A person qualified and with experience in an occupation on the Long term list, can apply for a TSS visa up to 4 years in length.The visa applicant must work for the nominating employer, but can cease that if s/he gains employment with another employer who has been approved to be a TSS nominator by the Department. There is a form of bonding to the employer, unless another Australian employer nomination approved by the Department offers employment to the worker.

From 12 August 2018, a Skilling Australians Fund must be paid at the point of lodging a TSS nomination.

A person can reapply for a Long term TSS visa as many times as a person likes. As with all skilled visas,, there is an English requirement. For this stream of the TSS visa, this is a score of at least 5 in an IELTS test, or a score of 36 in a PTE Academic test (increasingly popular with applicants, where available).

After working for an employer in that occupation for 3 years, the employer can nominate the person for permanent residency, through an application for the subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa (on transitional grounds). A visa applicant needs competent English to apply for this visa (a score for instance of 6 in each of the 4 IELTS areas, or a score of at least 50 in each of the 4 PTE (Academic) test areas. Results of English tests last for 3 years from the date of sitting).

Some people holding the former 457 visa can apply for the permanent 186 visa after working for only 2 years employment in the nominated occupation, while holding a 457 visa.


A requirement of the 186 visa is that the applicant and nominating employer sign an employment contract providing for at least 2 years employment, with that being renewable.

Another stream of the TSS visa is for a person to apply through an occupation on the Short-term list. This visa can be granted for 2 years only, and can be renewed once onshore for a further two years. After that the visa applicant would need to apply offshore for a subsequent visa. A visa applicant for this stream, also needs to show they are a genuine temporary entrant only.

A person cannot access the permanent 186 visa by working in an occupation on the Short-term list. The English requirement for this stream is a score of at least 4.5 in each area of an IELTS test (and 5 overall), or a score of at least 30 in each PTE test area (36 overall).

Two visa types directly providing permanent residence – the Employer Nomination Scheme (186) and Regional Sponsored (187) visas 

There are two other types of employer nominated visas which provide permanent residence. They are the subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa, and the subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa.

A person can apply for the 186 visa where their prospective employer has an approved nomination. It must be shown that there is a need for the position, and the nominee must be employed on a full-time basis for at least 2 years. A Skilling Australians Fund levy must be paid, at the point of application (this was introduced on 12 August 2018), as well as the usual Departmental application fee.

A visa applicant at the point of visa application must have competent English (as described above), and the employer’s nomination application must be approved before the visa can be granted.

A person must have at least 3 years relevant experience in the nominated application.

The nominated application is set down in a Departmental list, and is the same list as applies as a Long Term TSS occupation (a change from March 2018). An applicant needs to obtain a skills assessment for his or her nominated occupation. Skills assessments are done by various bodies, depending on the particular occupation.

There is also a regional visa which has some aspects of the 186 visa, and this is called the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa – subclass 187.

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