Expanding Access to the TRT Stream of SC 186 Visa – Latest Update 2023

SC 186 Visa

Effective November 25, 2023, the Department of Home Affairs officially implemented the amendments on the country’s migration regulations, specifically on expanding access to the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream of employer-sponsored permanent residency programs, that will enable skilled migrant workers to have a better pathway to obtaining their permanent resident status.

If you’re a temporary skilled worker living and working in Australia and aspires to secure your permanent residency here, this blog post covers the specific changes made that will help you better understand your visa requirements and figure out your next best steps.

What was amended?

The amended legislation’s primary goal is to expand access to the TRT stream of mainly two employer-sponsored PR programs, namely:

  • Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme) visa (Subclass 186 visa)
  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa (Subclass 187 visa) 

Both Subclass 186 and 187 visas contain a TRT stream, including a Direct Entry and a Labour Agreement stream for Subclass 186 visa. 

However, applications for Subclass 187 have been closed and are only open for some transitional cases.

These regulatory amendments effectively broaden access to TRT streams for all holders of Subclass 482 visa (Temporary Skill Shortage) and certain Subclass 457 visa (Temporary Work (Skilled)). This is regardless of the stream under which their visa is held.

Before jumping onto the actual key immigration policy changes, let’s first explore why these amendments were made in the first place.

Why the amendments?

In general, the amendments recently implemented to the country’s visa regulations aim to provide skilled migrant workers a clearer, surer, and more accessible pathway to attain their PR and continue living and rendering work in Australia without legal restrictions. 

In addition, these changes are expected to:

  • Significantly reduce the number of “permanently temporary” visa holders in Australia
  • Provide a much less complicated and labour-intensive nomination process for both present and future employers/sponsors
  • Make obtaining a PR status more accessible and attainable among employer-nominated skilled migrant workers
  • Address the labour shortages happening nationwide, wherein employers couldn’t find available Australians to render the work they require
  • Boost the country’s economic growth with the help of the skilled migrant workforce. 

Key Changes in the Migration Amendment Regulations 2023

There are several key changes that will positively impact the visa application process for holders of Subclass 186 ENS visa and Subclass 187 RSMS visa. These noteworthy changes include the following: 

Occupation requirement was removed.

The old rule only allows certain occupations listed under the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and/or the Regional Occupation List (ROL). 

The amended rule no longer requires a sponsoring employer to specify the occupation of the skilled worker in a legislative instrument. 

This new rule also ensures that TSS visa candidates still have the chance to secure their PR even if their occupation is removed from the said occupation list.

ALL employers can nominate workers through the TRT streams.

Previously, only employers who qualified under the standard business sponsorship were granted to source overseas migrant workers and nominate them for PR for the purpose of filling a job vacancy within the organisation. Now, all employers can freely nominate workers without these restrictions. 

It likewise covers parties involved in a work agreement who sponsored workers under a labour agreement, which simplifies the process for a more diverse group of employers who can’t find local workers to do the work that their business requires.

Limits on short-term stream applications were lifted.

For TSS visa applicants and candidates under the short-term stream, they are no longer legally obligated to leave Australia to apply for a third TSS visa application, but only if their current visa is not expiring on/before November 25, 2023. 

TSS visa holders under short-term and Labour Agreement streams, on the other hand, are qualified to get approved for an employer-sponsored PR under subclass 186 visa, provided that they worked for their sponsoring employer for at least two of the last three years in the nominated occupation. 


It’s a clear message from the federal government – they need to attract and retain skilled migrant workers to address the growing labour shortages happening nationwide, as well as improve the country’s economy through the contributions of temporary skilled migrants to the Australian workforce.

And in order to achieve that, they need to provide a more accessible, fairer, and easier pathway for employer-nominated and sponsored temporary skilled migrant workers to hold a PR status to continue working for their Australian employers. 

Source: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2023L01543/Download 

Consulting with an Immigration Lawyer or a qualified migration agent ensures that you get only expert advice on matters concerning your visa and PR application. 

If you need assistance for any visa-related concerns, Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers is the trusted migration law firm in Australia to receive sound immigration advice and services. 

For your unique enquiries, give our office a call via 02 9286 8700 or send an email to: ppmail@ppilaw.com.au  

Book a consultation today and get professional visa assistance from our immigration specialists! 


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