Many people dream of securing permanent residency in Australia. There are several ways that you can achieve this.
Here are some of the questions we’re most commonly asked in relation to PR.
If you meet the requirements and the point score for a skilled visa, either skilled independent (189 visa) or skilled sponsored (190 visa), you gain PR as soon as your visa is activated. Such visas can be processed in 6 to 8 months.
Other PR visas include the skilled independent (New Zealand Stream) 189 visa and the skilled regional permanent residence 191 visa. The 191 visa comes into force in November 2022 and is the PR pathway for people transitioning from the 494 and 491 regional visas.
If you were sponsored on the now closed 457 visa program, you might have a pathway to PR via the 186 employer nomination scheme via temporary resident transition (TRT). Grandfathering provisions were put in place to provide PR routes for eligible 457 visa holders after the scheme closed. You may be eligible to be sponsored by an employer on a permanent residency visa straight away through Direct Entry. This depends on your qualifications and work experience and the location of the employer. If you’re being sponsored on a 482 temporary skill shortage visa, or you already hold one, you might have a pathway to PR after three years if your occupation is on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List.
Eligible parents who apply for a contributory parent visa are eligible for permanent residency when their visa is activated. There are other PR options for parents, but processing times can be up to 20 years.
Most partner visas are temporary at first, but lead to residency if the relationship continues. PR visas are available to couples who have lived together for the three years prior to the application, or who have lived together for two years and have a child together.
Permanent residency gives you many of the rights and privileges that Australian citizens enjoy. Your partner and children are also granted PR and all family members have access to subsidised education at an Australian school or university and subsidised healthcare through Medicare. Although permanent residents pay the same fees as domestic students, it is important to note that permanent residents cannot access the HECS student loan system, so we encourage all residents to apply for citizenship as soon as they are eligible.
The benefits of being a PR were seen during the Covid-19 pandemic when Government support measures were made available to PRs and citizens, and not temporary residents.
Most permanent residents can apply for Australian citizenship after living in Australia for four years, provided at least 12 months of this was as a permanent resident.
There is a big difference between permanent residency and Australian citizenship.
When you become an Australian citizen you gain the same rights as those who were born in Australia. After becoming a citizen you can call yourself an “Australian” in the full sense of the word, and you have the same rights and privileges as Australians who were born in the country, including voting rights.
You must apply to Department of Home Affairs to become an Australian citizen. After you have lodged the completed application form and paid the appropriate fee you will be contacted by the Department.
Once you have notification of the success of your application you will be invited to participate in an Australian citizenship ceremony where you make the Australian Citizenship Pledge. Before this point, you will need to pass the Citizenship Test. Introduced in 2007, this compulsory exam will test a person’s language and will quiz applicants on their responsibilities as an Australian citizen. There are plenty of mock practice tests available online.