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Top Pathways for Australian Permanent Residency in 2022

Published 02 Jul 2022 / Updated 03 Jul 2022

Top Pathways for Australian Permanent Residency in 2022

Looking to settle down in Australia permanently?

Here is your guide for the Permanent Residency in Australia.

Whether you are a student, an engineer, or a working professional, Australian PR is getting more competitive every year. The visa rules and the whole process might be too overwhelming for you. So, we prepared a simple guide that will discuss the different pathways to Permanent Residency in Australia.

General Skilled Migration Program (GSM)

The skilled migration program of Australia is the most popular visa to get an Australian PR, caters to the skill shortage in Australia, and is designed to help improve the skills of the skilled force.

The GSM Visa is a point-based system and requires a minimum of 65 points to be eligible to apply for the visa. Through a GSM visa, you can get a permanent residency status to stay with family, work and get health benefits in Australia. You'll need to have skills enlisted in the Australian skilled occupation list & fall under the MLTSSL.

This program allows migrants to contribute to the economic development of the country. There are 3 visa types under this GSM Visa program:

Skill Independent Visa - Visa Subclass 189

Skilled Independent Visa subclass 189 is a direct PR. This type of visa is not sponsored or nominated by a state, employer, family member, province, or territory.

Skilled Nominated Visa - Visa Subclass 190

This kind of visa subclass 190 is for applicants nominated by the Australian State or territory. The applicants are selected based on their skills, experience, and profile.

This visa is a permanent visa and is strictly a state-sponsored visa and needs nomination from one of the states or territories of Australia.

Skill Work Regional (Provisional) Visa - Visa Subclass 491

The regional visa 491 is a temporary visa type. It is valid for 5 years, and you can apply for a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) after 3 years to become a permanent resident.

This visa type allows you to get a sponsorship from relatives with a PR, a citizen, or states/territories of Australia. This visa is a replacement visa of the previously subclass 489.

Note: Subclasses 189 and 190 are permanent visas, and the regional visa 491 is a temporary visa for 5 years and has a pathway to PR through Subclass 191 visa after 3 years, once the income level requirements are met.

General Factors for Australia PR Points:

  • Age: be under 45 years of age at the time of applying
  • Submit an EOI in SkillSelect
  • Have an occupation listed under the relevant Australia Skilled Occupation
  • Have a suitable Skills Assessment for the occupation
  • Minimum of 65 points in the points test
  • English Competence Demonstration (IELTS 6.0 or equivalent)
  • Study in Australia
  • State sponsorship points for subclasses 190 & 491
  • Partners skills
  • Positive skill assessment from the relevant skill-assessing authority for the occupation.

Note - For migrants willing to run small businesses and start-ups in Australia, 4 states - QLD, Tasmania, SA and Australian Capital Territory provide pathways via 491 or 190 nominations.

Visa Sponsored By an Australian Employer

Australian Employers may choose to recruit or employ skilled migrants for specific business needs and functions under Australia's employer-sponsored visa program. The program also allows a skilled employee/labor from a foreign country or nationality to explore employment opportunities in Australia.

Visa options for skilled sponsored workers

Read below to know about the sponsored visas for skilled workers. You can sponsor someone to come to Australia permanently or temporarily to fulfill a nominated skilled role.

The occupations- short-term or long term will decide your Permanent Residency scope.

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482)

Valid for: 1-4 years

Features: Workers must work only in the nominated occupation and can't change to another occupation without getting a new nomination and applicants must be skilled under the nominated job and must have at least 2 years of experience in the relevant field.

Note: After working for an employer for 3 years on 482 visas, the employer may sponsor the employee for 186, depending upon the occupation of the applicants.

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

Valid for: Permanent


  • No geographical restrictions
  • The employment will be for at least 2 years after the visa grant
  • Direct Entry stream applicants are required to undertake skills assessment and a relevant registration should be complied with, if needed.

Note: The Australian Government announced to allow Short term 482 visa holders who were in Australia during the covid-19 pandemic to apply for Permanent Residency visa 186.

Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)

Valid for: 5 years


  • Work must be in a designated regional area
  • The employment will be for at least 5 years after the visa grant
  • Requires to undergo skills assessment

Note: After working for the employer for 3 years on a 494, the employee may apply for Permanent residency via a Subclass 191 visa after meeting the appropriate income level requirement, which is currently set at AUD53,900. This amount can be changed due to inflation after every financial year.

Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent Visa Program is a permanent visa meant for the accomplished and brightest talents to live with family or study in Australia, enroll in Medicare and sponsor their relatives to come to Australia.

Two pathways help an individual attain this visa.

Global Talent pathway

The streamlined Global Talent pathway is for highly skilled applicants with an internationally recognised record of exceptional achievements within the priority sectors. Applicants must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and receive an invitation to apply.

Distinguished Talent pathway

The Distinguished Talent pathway is for extremely talented applicants with an internationally recognised record of exceptional achievements working in other sectors for a profession, sport, the arts, or academia and research.

  • Industries that Support this Visa are Agri-food and AgTech, Energy, Health industries, Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space, Digitech, -
  • Infrastructure and Tourism, financial services and FinTech, and Education.
  • The visa cost is AUD4,180 for the main applicant, and each family member who applies for the visa will be charged extra.
  • For an applicant who is 18 or above with less fluency or competency in English, a second installment is charged, which is about AUD4,890.

Business Innovation & Investment Visa

This visa allows you to own and manage a business, conduct business and investment activity or undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia.

The pathways for Business innovation & Investment visa are through

  • Provisional visa Subclass 188 - a temporary residence visa that allows overseas business migrants to stay in Australia for up to four years.
  • Permanent residency pathway visa Subclass 888 - a pathway to permanent residency for holders of the 188 visa subclass when applicants provide evidence that they meet the criteria outlined by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

There are a few different streams available under this Visa class, depending on your funds and the Business pitch.

Business Innovation stream - 188a

This provisional visa is for people with business skills for new or existing business in Australia.

  • A business that can reach a sufficient turnover of 750,000 and personal assets at AUD 1.25 million.
  • A turnover of 300,000 AUD in 2 years of the 4 years before PR application Visa 888.
  • If certain requirements are met, you can apply for a permanent Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) in the Business Innovation stream.

Investor stream - 188b & Significant Investor stream (SIV) 188c

  • 5M AUD is required as an investment under the SIV 188c
  • No age limit
  • No English language proficiency required

Note: - Significant investor stream 188c does not require business experience unlike Investor stream 188b. However, the investment is managed by a trusted Australian government fund and banks in Australia. Fund distribution is left to the investors choice.

Entrepreneur stream

  • State nomination is required for certain streams with an EOI (expression of interest) in the Entrepreneur Stream.
  • Youโ€™ll need to be on subclass 188 visa for a certain period of time and meet all criteria, you can apply for Permanent residency subclass 888 visa.

Note: - There are several other business visa streams like Skilled Migration Small Business Owner stream in State for 491/190 nomination, MINT Program Northern Territory, which are not as popular or sought after as the subclass 188 visa.

Partner Visas

Partner visas are for someone in a committed relationship with an Australian Citizen via marriage or in a de-facto relationship. Pathways for Partner Visas are:

Prospective marriage Visa Subclass 300

A temporary visa for partners of Australian citizens/Permanent residents who want to come to Australia to live and marry their Australian partners.

Partner visa Onshore Subclass 820/801

Once married, the individuals may apply for a Partner visa onshore Subclass 820/801.

Partner visa offshore Subclass 309/100

You may be eligible to get a 100 visa, which is a PR, after 2 years from when the application for 309/100 was made.

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