Permanent Residency Visa

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Australia PR Visa: Comprehensive Guide

An Australian PR Visa grants candidates permanent resident status and allows them to live in the country for an indefinite period. Australian PR holders can reside, study, or work in the country for 5 years and renew their visa as required. One can also apply for Australian Citizenship after living for 4 years on a PR Visa.

*Looking to apply for an Australia PR? Reach out to Y-Axis for immigration assistance.

 

Importance of obtaining PR in Australia

Australia is a diverse country with a population of 25 million. The population comprises individuals of different cultures and languages with a rich and old history of immigration. Individuals migrate and settle in the country for an affordable lifestyle, low cost of living, and the cultural diversity it offers. A PR is an easy and effective pathway to make your dream life possible. An Australian PR is of great importance for the following reasons:

  • Freedom to reside anywhere in the country for an indefinite period
  • Work for any employer in Australia
  • Can travel freely within Australia without any restrictions
  • Can apply for Australian Citizenship upon eligibility
  • Eligible to sponsor members of the family
  • Access education assistance
  • Avail world-class healthcare facilities
  • Access social security benefits like welfare aid for unemployment, sickness, and student
  • Easy to get approval on loans and improve credit score
  • Children of permanent residents can have access to free education
  • Eligible to get a Home Owner’s Grant

 

Australian Permanent Residency Requirements

The requirements for an Australian PR are given below:

You are required to score a minimum of 65 points in the Immigration Points Calculator to be considered for an Australian PR Visa. If you score higher than 65 points, then you might receive a faster invitation to apply for the visa. The general factors that can define your score are as follows:

 

Category 

Maximum Points

Age (25-32 years)

30 points

English proficiency (8 bands)

20 points

Work Experience outside Australia (8-10 years)

15 points

Work Experience in Australia (8-10 years)

20 points

Education (outside Australia) – Doctorate degree

20 points

Niche skills such as Doctorate or master’s degree by research in Australia

10 points

Study in a regional area

5 points

Accredited in community language

5 points

Professional year in a skilled program in Australia

5 points

State sponsorship (190 visa)

5 points

Skilled spouse or de facto partner (Age, Skills & English language requirements to be met)

10 points

Spouse or de facto partner with ‘competent English’ (No need to meet Skills requirement or age factor)

5 points

Applicants without a spouse or de facto partner or where a spouse is an Australian citizen or PR holder

10 points

Relative or regional sponsorship (491 visa)

15 points

Age: If you are between 25 to 32 years, you can earn up to 30 points. You must be less than 45 years to be eligible for a PR.

English Language Proficiency:You are required to score 8 bands in the IELTS to score 20 points. You can also get the desired scores in other accepted tests like PTE.

Work Experience:If you have been employed for 8 years in the last 10 years while living outside of Australia, you can earn up to 15 points. It is possible to earn 20 points if you have been employed for 8 to 10 years while staying in Australia from the date of application.

Skilled employment in Australia

Points

Less than 1 year

0

1-2 years

5

3-4 years

10

5-7 years

15

8-10 years

20

Education: You can earn points based on your educational qualifications. If you have completed a doctorate in an Australian University or from a foreign university that the Australian government acknowledges, then you can earn maximum points.

Qualifications

Points

A Doctorate degree from an Australian university or institute outside Australia.

20

A Bachelor’s (or Masters) degree from an Australian university or institute outside Australia.

15

Diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia

10

Any qualification or award recognized by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated skilled occupation.

10

Master by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution in the STEM fields

10

SOL (Skilled Occupation Lists): You must have a job that is listed as a skilled occupation. The jobs listed in the skilled occupations are acceptable for migration to Australia. The SOL consists of three categories, and they are as follows:

  • Medium- and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  • Regional Occupations List (ROL)

Spouse application: You can earn 10 additional points if your partner is also applying for a PR visa. To be awarded the additional points, your partner must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Age: Must be below 45 years
  • English Language Proficiency: Have good scores in English
  • Occupation code: The job role should have an occupation code listed in the occupation list similar to the primary applicant

Other qualifications:  If you satisfy any of the below-mentioned criteria, you can earn additional points.

Study in a regional area 

5 points

Accredited in community language 

5 points 

Professional year in a skilled program in Australia 

5 points 

State sponsorship (190 visas) 

5 points 

Relative or regional sponsorship (491 visa)

15 Points

*Want to apply for an Australian PR? Check your eligibility with a Y- Axis Australian Immigration Points Calculator.

 

Health Requirements for Australian Permanent Residency

You are required to satisfy the following health requirements based on age to be considered for an Australian PR:

Age

Health requirement

Less than 2 years

Routine medical examination

From 2 years to 11 years

Routine medical examination and a TB Test

From 11 years to 15 years

Routine medical examination and a chest X-Ray

More than 15 years

Medical exam, chest X-Ray and a HIV Test

Before applying for an Australian PR, you must meet specific medical requirements and they are as follows:

  • Get a full-body general health check-up
  • Get tested for
    • Hep C
    • HIV
    • Hep B
    • Syphilis
    • Tuberculosis

What do you do if you fail to meet health requirements?

If you fail to meet health requirements, then you will be declared a health risk to Australian society and not be given a visa. If you can appeal that you require a healthcare provider in Australia for your medical care, then you may be considered.

 

What are the benefits of Australian Permanent Residency?

The benefits of Australian Permanent Residency are as follows:

  • Reside in the country permanently
  • Travel freely within the country without any restrictions
  • Eligible to apply for bank loans
  • Pursue higher education
  • Access social security benefits
  • Sponsor family after meeting eligibility
  • Can work in Australia
  • Upon eligibility, you can apply for Australian Citizenship
  • Apply for a visa after traveling to New Zealand

 

What are the types of Australian Visas that lead to Permanent Residency?

The types of Australian Visas that lead to Permanent residency are given below.

Popular Types of Australian Visas

The popular types of Australian Visas that lead to permanent residency are as follows:

Skilled Migration Visas

The Skilled Migration Visas are for skilled workers with an employer in Australia employer willing to sponsor them to work in the country. The two prominent Skilled Migration Visas are as follows:

Subclass 189 visa

This visa allows workers from abroad with the desired skills to stay and work anywhere in the country. You must satisfy the below requirements to be considered for the visa:

  • Must be below 45 years
  • No requirement for a sponsor
  • You must have a formal invitation to apply for the visa.

Subclass 190 Visa

You must be a nominated skilled worker to reside and study or work in the nominated state in Australia as a PR. You are required to meet the following requirements for this visa:

  • Get 65 points on the Australian Immigration Points calculator
  • Receive an ITA
  • Have a job role listed as a Skilled Occupation
  • Have required skillset
  • Get good scores in the English Proficiency exams

 

Family-stream PR Visas

These visas are for the following:

  • Legal spouses, parents, children, or other dependent relatives of a permanent resident or citizen in Australia.
  • Children who are in the process of getting adopted or children who were adopted from outside of Australia
  • Carers of a relative in Australia who are required to migrate to Australia to provide long-term care

 

Business and Investment Visa

These are for individuals who want to pursue business or invest in the Australian economy.

 

Other types of Australian Visas

The other types of Australian Visas that lead to permanent residency are as follows:

Retirement Visa Pathway

Eligible retired individuals can apply for a retirement visa pathway to get permanent residency in Australia. The individuals must be long-term residents of Australia and should be well-established and have contributed to the Australian economy.

 

Former Resident Visa

The Former Resident Visa is for certain long- term former residents or individuals who have served in defence to stay in the country.

 

Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent Visa (Subclass 858) is for individuals that have are exceptional and have an outstanding achievement that is internationally-recognized.

 

Refugee and Humanitarian Visas

Individuals can obtain these visas if they have left their country of origin in the face of persecution.

 

Pacific Engagement visa

Citizens who are from countries in the Pacific Island or Timor Leste can apply for an Australian PR with this visa.

 

How to Apply for an Australian Permanent Residency Visa?

You must follow the mentioned steps to apply for an Australian PR.

Step 1: Check if you are eligible for an Australian PR

  • Check if you satisfy the eligibility and requirements
  • Check if your job role is listed in the eligible occupations
  • Check if you have sufficient points as given in the Immigration Points Grid

Step 2: Obtain a skill assessment report

The Skills Assessment Authority will assess your skill set, educational qualifications, and professional work experience and provide a report.

Step 3: English Language Proficiency

You must appear for accepted English tests and obtain the required scores to prove your English Language Proficiency. The English tests accepted by Australian immigration include PTE, IELTS, and more.

Step 4: Register an EOI (Expression of Interest)

You must register an EOI on the Australia Skill Select website. On the website, you are required to fill out a form answering questions based on your skill and visa type. One can apply for a PR Visa via the Skill Select program for three visa categories, and they are as follows:

  • Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189
  • Skilled Nominated Visa 190
  • Skilled regional (provisional) Subclass 491

It is mandatory to provide all the needed information while submitting an online application.

Step 5: Receiving an ITA (Invitation to Apply)

You will receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) after meeting the requirements and submitting an application online.

Step 6: File your PR application

You are required to submit your Australia PR Visa in 60 days. The completed application should have the mandatory documents to process the PR visa. These documents include personal details, information regarding immigration and work experience.

Step 7: Obtain the Australia PR visa and migrate to Australia

You can receive the Australian PR Visa and fly to the country.

 

Australia PR Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for an Australian PR are mentioned below:

  • Age: Below 45 years
  • Required Points: Score about 65 points in the Y-Axis Australian Immigration Points Calculator
  • Assessment of the Skillset: Obtain a valid skills assessment report from the Immigration authorities based on your educational qualification and work experience.
  • Language Proficiency: Prove English Language Proficiency in PTE/ IELTS
  • Accepted Occupation: The job role must be present in Australia’s Demand List. 
  • Medical Status: You must be medically fit without any illness and carry medical insurance.
  • Additional certifications: Get a verification certificate from the police that states you have no prior criminal record and a character certificate from an authoritative body.

 

Australian Permanent Residency Cost

The total cost of an Australian Permanent Residency is AUD 4640. The following table lists the costs of a PR visa based on the visa type.

Visa subclass

Base application charge (primary applicant)

Additional Applicant charge 18 and over(Secondary applicant)

Additional applicant charge under 18(child applicants)

Subclass 189 Visa

AUD4,640

AUD2,320

AUD1,160

Subclass 190 Visa

AUD4,640

AUD2,320

AUD1,160

Subclass 491 Visa

AUD4,640

AUD2,320

AUD1,160

 

Additional expenses when applying for an Australian PR

You are required to consider the following additional expenses when applying for an Australian PR. They are as follows:

  • Skill Assessment Fee: AUD 500 - AUD 800

You are required to pay around AUD 500- AUD 800 to get your skill set assessed by official bodies like AACA, ACS, or ADC.

  • IELTS Exam Fee: AUD 250

You must pay a fee to appear for the IELTS exam and receive the test scores.

  • Permanent Residence Fee: AUD 900 to AUD 3500

You are required to pay one-time fees to process the Australian PR Visa application. The main applicant has to pay AUD 3,600 and an additional AUD 1,800 for a secondary applicant. If any children are accompanied, then you will be charged an additional fee of AUD 900. In case your application is rejected, you will not be getting a refund of the fees paid.

  • The fee for the Visa label: AUD 70

You are required to pay a visa label fee also known as a Visa Evidence Charge for having a valid Australian Visa.

  • Fee for Medical expenses: AUD 30 to AUD 99

You must be get yourself medically examined to be considered for permanent residency. The test includes checking for any communicable diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis and more.

  • Other miscellaneous expenses

You must be prepared for any additional expenses like state nomination fee, obtaining a PCC, legal partner’s IELTS exam, ECA and more. It adds weightage to your Australian PR Visa application.

 

Australian Immigration Rules for Permanent Residency

You must satisfy certain key rules and regulations to be considered for Australian Permanent Residency. The key rules and regulations are as follows:

 

Key rules and regulations

  • You must be below 45 years old if applying via a work-stream-based visa for permanent residency.
  • Most permanent residency programs require you to submit English language Proficiency Test certificates to be considered.
  • If you are pursuing research-based work, then you must have a Master’s or a Doctoral degree.
  • For sponsor visas, you are required to submit information regarding sponsorship when applying for permanent residency.
  • If you are applying via the family-stream migration program, you must have a legal spouse or a de facto partner already living in Australia.

 

Updates and changes in immigration policies

Australia continuously tries to update and change its immigration policies to cater to the needs of foreign nationals from around the world. The recent updates and changes in the Immigration policies are as follows:

  • For the year 2024-2025, the government of Australia announced that the Permanent Migration Program will be at 185,000 places. It is estimated that there will be an increase in candidates moving to Australia under the Subclass 190 Visa and Subclass 491 Visa.

The Immigration Planning Levels of 2024-2025 are listed in the following table.

Skill Stream Visa
Visa Category 2024-25 Planning Levels
Employer-Sponsored 44,000
Skilled Independent 16,900
State/Territory Nominated 33,000
Regional 33,000
Business Innovation & Investment 1,000
Global Talent Independent 4,000
Distinguished Talent 300
Skill Total 1,32,200
Family Stream Visa
Visa Category 2024-25 Planning Levels
Partner 40,500
Parent 8,500
Child 3,000
Other Family 500
Family Total 52,500
Special Category Visa
Special Eligibility 300
Grand Total 1,85,000

Other important Immigration updates include the following.

  • There is a fee increase for skill assessment by 3 to 4% in the year 2024.
  • There are new changes to the English Language Requirement for Temporary Graduate and Student Visas in Australia.
  • There is an increase in the required English Proficiency score from 5.5 to 6 for individuals applying for an Australian Student Visa.
  • In November of 2024, a new pathway will be introduced for graduates between 18 and 30 years to reside and work in Australia for a period of 2 years.
  • A new National Innovation Visa is going to replace the Global Talent Visa.
  • From November 2024, the required work experience for individuals applying under the Temporary Skills Shortage Subclass 482 is going to be reduced from 2 years to 1 year.

 

Australian Citizenship Test

You are required to be between 18 and 59 years old to write the Australian Citizenship Test. The test assesses the following:

  • Basic knowledge of English
  • Understand what it means to be an Australian Citizen.
  • Adequate information about Australia
  • Privileges and responsibilities as an Australian citizen
  • Commitment toward the Australian's sense of freedom, equality, and respect

To qualify for the exam, you must:

  • Answer 20 MCQ's
  • Answer 5 questions regarding the Australian values correctly
  • Get a minimum of 75% in total.

 

What are the preparation tips and resources to qualify for the exam?

You must follow the below-mentioned points to qualify for the Australian Citizenship Test:

  • Read the booklet called Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond
  • Listen to the Our Common Bond podcast
  • Do the practice test that is on the official Australian Government website

There is no requirement for additional resources to clear the Australian Citizenship exam.

 

Privileges and Responsibilities of Being Australian Citizens

Australian Citizenship offers individuals with many benefits and responsibilities. These will enhance the life of the individual in the country. The privileges and responsibilities are mentioned below.

 

Privileges of Being an Australian Citizen

You, being an Australian citizen, are permitted to:

  • Cast your vote in state or federal elections.
  • Can apply for citizenship for your children that are born overseas
  • Eligible to apply for employment in the Australian Defence or Public Service
  • Take part in the election.
  • Apply and obtain an Australian passport that allows you to re-enter Australia without any restrictions.
  • While staying overseas, you can request consular assistance from an official in Australia.

 

Responsibilities of Being an Australian Citizen

You, being an Australian Citizen, are required to

  • Obey and follow Australian laws.
  • Take part and vote in the state or federal elections.
  • If the need arises, you must defend Australia's honour.
  • If called upon, must serve jury duty.

 

Maintaining Permanent Residency

Australian PR holders have the right to travel for a period of 5 years. It is mandatory to renew travel facility after the 5 year period. It is important to check your travel facility before making a trip out of Australia.

If you have travelled out of Australia and want to re-enter, you are required to check the expiration date of your travel facility. The travel facility is listed on the visa grant notification. If your travel facility has expired, you must apply for a resident return visa (subclass 155 or subclass 157) to return to Australia from abroad. You can also apply for Australian Citizenship to avoid applying for a travel facility.

 

5-year Resident Return Visa

Australian PR holders who have lived in the country for a period of 2 years in 5 years might receive a 5-year travel facility.    

 

12 months Resident Return Visa

You are eligible to apply for a 12-month travel facility if you are in any one of the following situations:

  • If you have not resided in the country for a minimum of 2 years in the past 5 years as a PR then you are allowed to show substantial ties that the country can benefit from.
  • If you are not meeting the requirements but you are a family member of an individual with an RRV.
  • If you are not meeting the requirement but have a compelling reason for your departure, then you may get a 3 month travel facility on the visa.

 

Substantial ties

You must showcase substantial ties that are beneficial to the country. There are various substantial ties that include:

  • Business: You are required to own a company in Australia
  • Cultural – You must have any program that lists your cultural or artistic performances
  • Employment– You must have a contract of employment under an Australian employer
  • Personal – You must have an Australian legal partner and a child

To prove your substantial ties, you must provide sufficient documents as evidence.

 

RRV for the family unit

If you have applied for an RRV (Resident Return Visa) but your dependent like legal spouse are not meeting residency requirements, they are still eligible to apply for an RRV.

 

Potential reasons for losing PR

The Migration Act is an important legislative body that deals with the process of Immigration and issuing visas. This act checks and verifies if applicants are meeting the specific requirements for each visa category. There are several circumstances under which you might lose your Australian PR, and they are as follows:

Section

Grounds for Cancellation

Applicability

Section 109

Cancellation based on incorrect information or fraudulent documents.

Applicable to all visas.

Section 116

Cancellation based on character grounds.

Applicable to all visas.

Section 128

Same as section 109 or section 116 cancellations.

Applicable to all visas.

Section 134

Cancelation of permanent business migration visas if they fail to meet the visa conditions.

Permanent business migration visas.

Section 137

Cancellation if you fail to abide by the conditions of your visa.

Regional Sponsored Employment visas.

Section 140

Applicable in cases where the main visa holder’s visa is cancelled.

Consequential cancellation

Section 501

Cancellation on character grounds.

Applicable to all visas

 

Points to be noted for PR Visa holders

  • The PR Visas can be cancelled under the following sections: 109,128, and 501.
  • The PR holders will be notified by the DIBP and allotted a specific time to appeal and explain why their PR visa shouldn’t be cancelled.
  • However, the Australian government has the right to revoke or cancel a PR visa under section 501 without informing the PR visa holder.
  • One may even get their PR Visa cancelled by the government of Australia under section 128 while living out of Australia. In such situations, you cannot appeal for a review.

 

Difference between Australian Permanent Residency and Citizenship

The following table lists the differences between Australian PR and Australian Citizenship:

Factors

Australian PR

Australian Citizenship

Duration

Are permanent residents but have to renew after a time period

Be citizens of the country for life

Voting rights

Do not have the right to vote

Have the right to vote

Government jobs

Do not have access to government jobs

Have access to government jobs

Status of the passport

PR Visa with passport of the country of origin

Passport of Australia

Citizenship of the children

Are considered as citizens of Australia

Are considered as citizens of Australia

Sponsorship of Family

Restricted access to sponsor family members

Are eligible to sponsor family members for all visas

Student loan

Eligible to apply for a domestic school fee but not applicable for higher education

Are eligible for student loan for higher education in the country

 

Residency Requirements for Australian Citizenship

In order to transition from Australian Permanent Residency to Australian Citizenship, you are required to meet the following eligibility criteria.

 

Eligibility criteria for transitioning from PR to Australian Citizenship

The eligibility criteria to transition from a PR to citizenship are as follows:

  • Qualify for the Australian Citizenship Test
  • Have a permanent residency at the time of application
  • Meet the residency requirement
  • Have a high possibility of residing in the country or willing to maintain a close relationship
  • Be of genuine character

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