1 Nov 2019

5 things to know about Permanent Residence in Australia

Unfortunately, recent visa changes have made it more difficult to obtain a Permanent Residence visa in Australia. Only 160,323 permanent residence visas were granted in 2018-19 – Australia’s lowest intake since 2008.

We can expect this figure to begin to plateau with Australia’s new planning cap formally set at 160,000 permanent visas for the next four years from 2019/20. Here’s what you need to know.

Shifts in employer-sponsored permanent residence

Recent restrictions to employer-sponsored skilled visas, such as the replacement of the 457 Visa program with the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa, are likely to have influenced this reduction.

The introduction of the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa meant only Medium-Term Stream TSS Visa holders became eligible for a permanent residence pathway, which effectively reduced the number of people that could apply for employer-sponsored permanent residence.

38,052 people were granted an employer-sponsored Subclass 186 Visa in 2016-17 compared to only 33,025 people in 2018-19. Employer-sponsored permanent residence through the Subclass 186 Visa has only been allocated 30,000 places in 2019/20.

With the introduction of the new 494 Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa in November 2019, employers will however have more opportunities to sponsor skilled migrants.

It will be interesting to see how this helps to alleviate permanent residence restrictions that exist through current employer-sponsored pathways.

More competition for independent skilled migration

Over the past year we have noticed less invitations being issued for General Skilled Migration (GSM) Visas to reflect a smaller migration program and number of placements available.

This has made conditions more competitive to migrate independently without an employer sponsor. 67,857 people were granted a GSM Visa in 2016-17 compared to only 60,240 in 2018-19.

Planning levels for 2019/20 show only 57,620 placements have been allocated for GSM visas, so we can expect to see a further reduction in invitations being issued this financial year.

It will be interesting to see how the introduction of the new Regional 494 Points-Tested Visa will attract migrants to live and work in regional areas. We may begin to see more migrants seeking to live and work regionally with the greater availability of permanent residence placements in regional areas.

A focus on regional migration

The Government’s focus on encouraging migrants to live and work in regional areas is opening up opportunities for skilled migrants to live in Australia.

Skilled migrants may be able to claim more points for Independent Skilled Migration if they would like to work and live in a regional area. The commencement of new Regional Skilled Visas in November 2019 will also provide more options for migration to regional areas.

The new 191 Visa will become available from November 2022 as a permanent residence visa option for skilled migrants on a Subclass 491 or 494 Regional Visa who have worked in a regional area for three years.

Family migration to remain stable

The number of permanent residence Family Migration visas granted has remained very similar over the past few years. In 2019/20, a total of 47,732 visas have been planned for Family Migration placements.

It’s worth noting that there is usually significant demand for permanent family visas such as Parent Visas, however the number of placements planned have generally remained unchanged.

More rigorous assessments of permanent residence visa applications

We have noticed the Government has applied a level of rigour to the way it assesses permanent residence visa applications – particularly in relation to character/integrity, sponsorship compliance and the genuineness of applications.

We expect this will continue and applicants need to be aware substantial levels of evidence may be required to support their application.

The level of rigour applied to assessments is likely to impact the rate of permanent residence visas granted and standard processing times.

Migration connections made simple

To find out your permanent residence options, simply contact Immigracious’ registered migration agents at or 08 6263 4406.


Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents

Media Release – The Hon David Coleman MP

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Uncategorized


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