Readers of our February Client Alert may have noted that more than 40% of 457 visa holders move on to take up permanent residency.

In this first article (of two) we look principally at real estate advantages for employers and employees (other than lifestyle) in doing so. [Next time we will consider other advantages – in particular health and medical, and children / education].

Permanent residents and their families are eligible to receive a range of benefits not available to temporary residents, such as:


  • Unrestricted ability to purchase real estate. Temporary residents may purchase used property, with Foreign Investment Review Board approval , however they must sell it within 3 months of leaving Australia. [They may purchase new property, subject to FIRB approval, but do not need to sell on departure] . Permanent residents have no such restrictions.
  • Employer-paid temporary housing on permanent relocation is FBT exempt ( for at least 6 months)
  • Few limitations on employment in Australia. Some job opportunities, largely state or federal governmental work, require citizenship as opposed to permanent residence.
  • The right to sponsor relatives for permanent residence, subject to fulfilling residence criteria and assurance of support requirements.


Many employers sponsor employees to move from a 457 visa to a permanent residence visa for skilled workers (the sub-class 186 visa), or support a new recruit to obtain a 186 visas. For them the long-term benefit of having a staff member as a permanent member of the work force outweighs the risk that the employee will leave and work for another employer.

For more information, and for assistance with permanent residency or other visa matters, please contact Sue Stinson, Manager Visa Services, at, or + 61 2 9955 3300.