Can I Get Permanent Residency in Australia if I’m over 45?

Limited pathways for those Over 45

Unfortunately, under the current legislation many permanent residency visas in Australia have an age limit of 44. So for many overseas citizens aged 45 years or older, the pathways to obtain Australian permanent residency become increasingly limited. The good news is that, despite their age, there are still a number of exemptions to the age requirement for certain overseas workers who are sponsored, or propose to be sponsored, by an Australian business.

How can I Get an Exemption to the Age Requirement

This visa pathway is called the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Visa program and allows skilled workers to live and work in Australian on a permanent basis.

Applicants aged 45 or over can still apply for permanent residency through the Subclass 186 Visa pathway on the basis of the following exemptions:

  1. Worked for 3 years at a wage above the ‘Fair Work High Income Threshold’Current Subclass 457/482 visa holders who have been working for their nominating employer for at least three years immediately prior to applying for the Subclass 186 visa AND have earned an annual income at least equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold (‘FWHIT’) for each year over that period.

    The FWHIT is indexed each year effective from 1 July. The FWHIT for the current financial year is $145,400. NOTE: aside from wages, there are other salary allowances and employee benefits that can be considered for the purpose of claiming this age exemption (please speak to us for more information on this);
  2. Technical specialists at skill level 1 or 2 You are nominated as a researcher, scientist, or technical specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian government scientific agency;
  3. Senior Academics You are a senior academic nominated by a university in Australia for a position at Academic Level of B, C, D or E as a University Lecturer or Faculty Head;
  4. Medical Practitioners You are a medical practitioner who has been working in your nominated occupation as the holder of a Subclass 457/482 visa for at least 3 years immediately before applying. At least 2 years of the employment must have been located in regional Australia and the nominated position is located in regional Australia;
  5. New Zealand Citizen working for 2+ years  and meeting specific requirements You are a New Zealand citizen holding a Subclass 444 Special Category Visa or a Subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa and you have been working for the nominating employer in the nominated occupation for at least 2 years in the last 3 years immediately before applying;
  6. Subclass 186 Labour Agreement Stream You are applying through the Subclass 186 Labour Agreement stream and the relevant agreement allows for a person who has turned 45 to be employed.

Other Potential Exemptions

Subclass 457 VIsa Holders prior to 2017 aged under 50
There are also transitional arrangements in place for those temporary workers who held or applied for (and were later granted) a Subclass 457 visa prior to 18 April 2017. These workers may still be able to apply for a visa under the Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition stream if they are over the age of 45 but younger than 50.

Other Permanent visas
It should be noted that there is no age limit for other permanent visas, such as those in the family stream, certain business and investment visas, as well as the skilled independent visa for New Zealand citizens.

What are my next steps?

If you have any questions at all about your eligibility for permanent residency, please do not hesitate to contact us. Click here or give us a call on 1300 193 326 to ensure you are covered legally.

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