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Who is an Australia Permanent Residence? An Australian permanent resident is someone who receives a permanent visa but is not a citizen. Simple!

Acquiring a permanent residence permit in Australia is a monumental achievement that paves the way for a stable and prosperous future. This guide is not just a roadmap, it’s a simple and comprehensive handbook, designed to empower you with a deep understanding of what permanent residency entails, the avenues that lead to it, and the profound impact it can have on your life.

Decoding the Rights and Entitlements of Permanent Residents in Australia

A permanent residence permit is your golden ticket to reside indefinitely in Australia. While it isn’t equivalent to citizenship, it’s a substantial milestone that places you on the threshold of full integration into Australian society. Permanent residency is the bridge between being a temporary visitor and a full-fledged member of the Australian community.

Below are some of the rights and entitlements given to you as an Australian Permanent Resident;

  • Traveling: If a permanent resident desires to take a trip across borders, they must have a permanent visa with a valid travel authorization in order to return to Australia as a permanent resident.
  • Voting: Permanent residents are not permitted to vote in most Australian government elections. However, if a permanent resident was registered to vote (as a British subject) before 1984, they may still be able to vote.
  • Government Services and Benefits: Eligibility for government services and benefits is determined by the rules established by the relevant government agency in charge of the service or incentive.

The Crucial Eligibility Factors for Permanent Residency in Australia

Gaining permanent residency is contingent upon meeting specific eligibility factors. These factors encompass a range of aspects, including age, skills, English language proficiency, health, character, and your connection to Australia. Each factor is carefully considered to ensure that those granted permanent residency are well-prepared to contribute positively to the nation’s growth and diversity. You can apply on humanitarian grounds, as a migrant, or as a member of a family unit.

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Please visit the Department of Home Affairs webpage for additional information on how to become a permanent resident. 

Requirement for Australian Permanent Residency

Any adult who became a permanent resident on or after 1 July 2007 must have lived in Australia lawfully for four years prior to applying for Australian citizenship. This includes the following:

  • 12 months as a permanent resident;
  • no more than 12 months away from Australia; and
  • no more than three months away from Australia in the 12 months before application.

From the Department of Home Affairs website navigate your way to the Citizenship Wizard section, for more detailed information that can help you assess if you fit the permanent residence requirement.

Ways to Achieving Permanent Residency in Australia

Australia offers various pathways to permanent residency, each tailored to different circumstances and aspirations: The most popular way to obtain permanent residency in Australia is to have one of the following:

  • Skilled Migration: If you possess skills in high demand, skilled migration visas like Subclass 189 or Subclass 190 could be your route. These visas operate on a points-based system, with factors such as age, skills, experience, and language proficiency influencing your eligibility.
  • Family and Partner Sponsorship: Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens can sponsor family members or partners for permanent residency, provided the relationship meets specific criteria.
    • Partner Visa (migrant) – subclass 100.
    • Partner Visa – subclass 801.
    • Remaining Relative Visa.
    • Parent Visa – subclass 103.
    • Contributory Parent Visa – subclass 143.
    • Contributory Aged Parent Visas.
    • Aged Dependent Relative Visa.
    • Carer Visa.
    • Child Visa.
    • Adoption Visa – subclass 102.
    • Orphan Relative Visa – subclass 117, 837.
  • The Business and Investment Visas: Entrepreneurs and investors can explore pathways such as the Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa, which can lead to permanent residency when certain conditions are met.
    • Business Innovation and Investment Visa – subclass 888.
    • Business Owner Visa – subclass 890.
    • The Business Talent Visa – subclass 132.
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Other visas that individuals can utilize to get permanent residency in Australia include:

  • Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124).
  • Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858).
  • Visas for refugees and humanitarian purposes are available.
  • Retirement visa path.

A Step-by-Step Guide Through the Application Process:

  • Eligibility Assessment: Begin by assessing your eligibility based on the chosen pathway and the corresponding criteria.
  • Expression of Interest (EOI): For points-based visas, submit an Expression of Interest through the Skill Selects system. Provide details about your skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • Invitation to Apply: If your EOI is selected from the pool, you’ll receive an invitation to apply for the visa.
  • Application Lodgment: Submit a meticulously prepared application along with all required documents. These documents might include skill assessments, English language test results, health assessments, and character clearances.

Comprehensive Document Checklist for Australian Permanent Residency

The documents you’ll need for your permanent residency application encompass various categories:

  • Identity Documents: Your passport, birth certificate, and other identification materials.
  • Skill Assessment: If applicable, evidence of your skills and qualifications, often assessed by relevant authorities.

In other words, you need;

  • A Valid Passport.
  • Permanent Visa Application Form.
  • An Authorized Recipient Form (if applicable).
  • A Proof of Paid Base Fee.
  • Recent Identity Photographs.
  • A National ID.
  • A Police Clearance.
  • A Proof of Financial Stability.
  • Health Insurance.
  • A written invite (if applicable).
  • Requirement for good conduct.
  • Sign the Values Declaration.

Permanent Residency Regulations in Australia

Some rules, depending on the migration program, must be followed in order to qualify for permanent residency in Australia:

  • Applicants must be under the age of 45 (work-stream-based permanent residency).
  • Most permanent residence schemes require applicants to produce proof of English language ability.
  • Applicants must hold a Master’s or Doctoral degree (for research-based positions).
  • When applying for a sponsor visa, applicants must provide proof of sponsorship.
  • For the family stream migration scheme, applicants must have a spouse or de facto partner in Australia.
  • Applicants who are too old to apply for the work-based migration program may apply for permanent residence through the retirement visa option.
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Upholding and Safeguarding Your Australian Permanent Residency Status

Securing permanent residency is a significant accomplishment, but it’s equally crucial to maintain it:

  • Residency Requirement: You must meet the residency requirement, which typically entails residing in Australia for a specified period to be eligible for citizenship.
  • Adhering to Visa Obligations: Respect the conditions of your visa and promptly report any changes in your circumstances to the relevant authorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    Can I directly apply for permanent residency?

A.    Yes, certain visa subclasses allow direct applications for permanent residency, especially those associated with high-demand skills.

Q.    Is permanent residency the same as citizenship?

A.    No, permanent residency and citizenship are distinct statuses. Permanent residency allows you to live and work indefinitely in Australia, while citizenship offers additional rights and privileges.

Q.    Can I include family members in my application?

A.    Depending on the visa category, you may be able to include eligible family members in your application.

Q.    What benefits do permanent residents enjoy?

A.    Permanent residents have the freedom to work and study without restrictions, access to social services, travel privileges, and the opportunity to pursue citizenship.

Q.    How long does it take to obtain permanent residency?

A.    The processing time varies based on the visa pathway and individual circumstances. Check the official processing times for accurate estimates.

By Michael

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