Pathways to PR in Australia Introduction

  • Post category:Migration

Being one of the most livable countries in the world, Australia is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in terms of migration. 

Many international students or backpackers fall in love with Australia and wish to live here permanently because of the fantastic climate and friendly culture. But how to become a permanent resident in Australia?

There are 4 common pathways to permanent residency (PR) in Australia:

  1. Family-stream permanent visas
  2. Work-stream / skilled permanent visas
  3. Business or investor-stream permanent visas
  4. Refugee and humanitarian visas

In this article, we are going to talk about getting PR in a more achievable way as an international student, which is through the skilled migration program. 

Work-stream / skilled permanent visa

Skilled stream is one of the most popular and feasible pathways to PR in Australia, which is going to account for almost 70% of the planning levels in ​​the 2022-23 Migration Program.

There are different types of PR visas in the skilled stream. Here are 4 key categories composed of more than 80% of the places in the skilled migration program in 2022-2023: 

  1. Employer-Sponsored
  2. Skilled Independent 
  3. State / Territory Nominated
  4. Regional
Migration Program planning levels as announced as part of the 2021-22 and 2022-23 Federal Budgets

Contact AAS now for personalised advice on immigrating to Australia.

1. Employer-sponsored

There are 3 types of employer-sponsored visas including:

  1. Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482)
  2. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494)
  3. Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Subclass 186)

Short-Term / Provisional Visas

1. Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482)

This is a temporary visa allowing an employer to sponsor a suitably skilled worker to fill a position they cannot find a suitably skilled Australian to fill.

There are 3 different streams in this visa:

The short-term stream enables applicants on the occupation list to work in Australia for up to 2 years and it can be renewed once within Australia. The applicant has to go offshore to reapply for the visa if they would like to renew the visa after 4 years.

Please note that there is no pathway to PR through this stream.

The medium-term stream allows applicants on the medium and long-term occupation list to work in Australia for up to 4 years. The visa can be renewed unlimited times.

There is a pathway to PR in which visa holders could apply for a permanent visa via subclass 186.

This stream enables employers with a Labour Agreement to sponsor skilled workers to work in Australia for up to 4 years.

No pathway to PR through this stream.


2. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494)

This is a provisional visa for regional employers to sponsor skilled workers and address labour shortages in their region.

Applicants can apply this visa through one of these streams:

It allows skilled workers to live, work and study in designated regional Australia for 5 years. Visa holders may apply for PR after 3 years if eligible.

Permanent Visa

Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Subclass 186) allows skilled workers, who are nominated by their employer, to live and work in Australia permanently.

You can apply for this visa through either one of these streams:

Click the link above to check the full requirements of each stream.

But in general, the basic eligibility of this visa includes:

  • You must have the necessary skills for the job
  • You must be nominated by an Australian employer
  • You must meet the health and character requirements

2. Skilled Visas

Out of all visas, skilled stream visas are the most feasible pathways to PR for international students.

Skilled visas can be classified into independent vs. state-nominated and regional vs. non-regional visas as below:

Independent visas: 

State-nominated visas:


You may wonder how to choose between an independent visa and state-nominated visa. Here are the key features and differences between getting PR through an independent visa and a state-nominated visa:



No sponsorship requirements

Need to fulfil sponsorship requirements

Invitation score is very high (90 – 95)

Invitation score is lower than independent visas

Less occupation options (must be listed on MLTSSL)

More occupation options (not limited to MLTSSL)

As the invitation score points for independent visa subclass 189 is very high, state nomination options become popular in skilled migration programs. However, the state nomination requirements differ in each state.

We are therefore diving deeper into the state-nominated visas and the state nomination requirements in each state next time. Stay tuned!

Planning to get PR? Not sure which pathway is more suitable for you? Contact AAS now for professional advice and help.