Expanding Pathways to PR for Temporary Skilled Workers

Expanding Pathways to PR for Temporary Skilled Workers

The Australian government is making important changes to the migration system to provide a more straightforward path for temporary skilled workers to become permanent residents.

The changes, set to start from November 25, 2023 (*pending regulatory approval), involve adjustments to the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa and the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa subclasses.

Why are the changes being made?

Current pathways to PR for temporary skilled visa holders are often limited, which has led to a growing number of ‘permanently temporary’ visa holders in Australia.

To attract the skilled workers Australia needs, the government plans to create clear pathways to PR for all TSS visa streams. This will provide more certainty to employers and TSS visa holders as well as simplifying the nomination process.

These changes are a first step to provide more equitable access to PR for all TSS visa holders while the government continues work on reforms to the skilled visa programs following the development of the Outline of the Migration Strategy and in response to the Review of the Migration System 2023.

Who will these changes apply to?

Changes to the TSS visa will apply to new applications lodged on or after 25 November 2023*.

Changes to the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream nomination requirements will apply to new ENS/RSMS nomination applications and applications that are yet to be finally determined as at 25 November 2023*.

While the changes will increase access to PR for temporary skilled workers, migration program planning levels will not change.

What will be changing?

Changes to the TSS visa

Changes from 25 November 2023*
All short-term stream TSS visa applications can be lodged in Australia
  • Limits on the number of Short-term stream TSS applications visa holders can make in Australia will be removed. Applicants who wish to lodge a third or more Short term-stream TSS visa can do so from onshore.
  • Short term stream TSS holders with visas expiring before the changes will need to travel outside Australia to lodge a third short term-stream TSS application.

Changes to nomination requirements for the TRT stream of the ENS and RSMS visa subclasses

Changes from 25 November 2023*
Eligible visa requirements for ENS/RSMS nominations
  • Employers will be able to nominate holders of all TSS visa streams, including Short-term and Labour Agreement streams. The nominated person will need to have held their TSS (or subclass 457) visa(s) for 2 out of the 3 years before nomination.
  • The RSMS visa will continue to be restricted to transitional 457 workers and transitional 482 workers.
Nominated occupation requirements
  • Nominated occupations will no longer be assessed against skilled migration occupation lists.
  • The nominated occupation will need to be listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) and the nominated worker will need to continue to work in the occupation nominated for their TSS visa(s).
Work experience requirements
  • The period in which TSS visa holders are required to have worked in a position with their sponsoring employer (or in the occupation for medical practitioners and certain executives) will be reduced to 2 out of the 3 years before nomination.

Changes to visa requirements for the TRT stream of the ENS and RSMS visa subclasses

Changes from 25 November 2023*
Age exemption requirements
  • Changes will be made to age exemptions for regional medical practitioner applicants and high income earning applicants aged 45 years and over to allow for a two-year pathway.
  • COVID-19 related age exemptions that will become redundant as a result of the two-year pathway, will be ended.


This is Australia can determine your eligibility and provide you professional advice on the documentation, fees and submission process. Begin your pathway to permanent residency by contacting our migration agents via our online form or call our Queensland office on (07) 5592 0755.

Please note, these changes are pending regulatory approval and are not expected to come into effect until 25 November 2023. 

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