Never been a better time to apply for PR or citizenship

If you’re eligible to apply, now is the time to secure your residency status in Australia.

If the Covid-19 pandemic has done anything, it’s highlighted just how beneficial it is to hold Australian permanent residency (PR) and citizenship.

For lots of people, unfortunately, PR simply isn’t an option; they’re not eligible and the only option they have is to live and work as a temporary visa holder. However, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Some temporary residents are entitled to PR, they just haven’t got around to applying for it. Why? You may ask. Well, sometimes life gets in the way, the cost can be prohibitive, and often people fail to really understand the benefits of it.

One thing we always stress to our clients and people coming to us for advice is this: apply for PR as soon as you’re eligible and as soon as you can afford it. Don’t stay on a temporary visa for any longer than necessary. If you need social welfare, medical care, or want to access higher education, believe us when we say that you’ll be re-paid the cost of your visa ten times over.

PR during Covid-19 pandemic

If you’re an Australian PR and you’ve been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, you’re no doubt thanking your lucky stars that you obtained your residency when you did.

Permanent residents are currently entitled (if eligible) to:

JobSeeker payments
– JobKeeper payments
Early access to superannuation ($10,000 in this financial year and $10,000 in the next financial year)

In contrast, temporary residents are entitled to early access of super in this financial year and various emergency assistance packages put together by state governments. They’re not entitled to regular support payments of any kind.

Other benefits of PR

Permanent residency has benefits outside of a global pandemic situation too.

Remain in Australia indefinitely
– Enrol in Medicare
– Access first homeowner grants
– Buy established residential property
– Work for any employer
– Access childcare rebates
– Pay reduced higher education fees
– Sponsor eligible family members
– Children born in Australia will automatically be granted citizenship
– You can live and work in New Zealand
– Be eligible for most social security benefits after two years
– Access the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)
– Don’t need to pay foreign citizen stamp duty rates

Sounds pretty good, right?

Becoming an Australian citizen is even better. You get everything we listed above, plus the following:

You can vote
– You could become the Australian Prime Minister
– Stress-free travel and re-entry
– Obtain consular assistance when overseas
– Apply for federal government and defence jobs
– Enjoy visa-free travel to 183 countries
– Access higher education loans and fee assistance
– Increased protection from deportation

The benefits of citizenship were further highlighted earlier this month when Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the new HomeBuilder scheme, which is open only to citizens. Under the scheme, eligible owner-occupiers can access a grant of up to $25,000 to build a new home or undertake renovations in excess of $150,000.

With HomeBuilder, combined with FHOG and stamp duty relief, you really could save a fortune when buying a home as a citizen.

In Western Australia, first-home buyers can access nearly $70,000 in grants if they’re building a new home. This is because the state Government has also introduced its own $20,000 grant to top up the HomeBuilder grant.

Let’s do the maths:

HomeBuilder: $25,000
– WA Government bonus for new builds (this is actually open to everyone, including foreign investors): $20,000
– FHOG and stamp duty concessions: $24,440Total: up to $69,440 up for grabs, presuming you’re eligible for the whole lot.

Temporary residents and permanent residents are eligible for parts of that pie, but you’ll only be up for all of it if you’re a fully-fledged citizen.

Applying for PR and citizenship

There are many PR pathways available, from partner visas to skilled independent visas and parent visas.

If you’re from New Zealand, you might be eligible for the 189 New Zealand stream visa.

If you’ve been working in Australia on a temporary visa, you could be eligible to apply via the temporary residence transition (TRT) stream on the 186 employer-sponsored visa.

Once you secure PR, you’re on the road to citizenship. To meet citizenship requirements, you generally need to be living in Australia for at least four years on a valid visa, and one of those years must be as a permanent resident. You can’t have been absent from Australia for too long before you apply, so make sure you properly calculate your overall residence time.

The pros outweigh the cons

One thing is for sure, no one has ever secured PR or citizenship and regretted it. Yes, it can be expensive, but it’s a major investment in your future and one that will pay for itself over time. Secure your status in the country you love and fully enjoy all the benefits of living here.

To discuss your options with a Registered Migration Agent, contact True Blue Migration Services today.

Get in touch now to find out how we can help you contact us