AUSTRALIA (PR)

Australia Permanent Residence

Australian permanent residents are residents of Australia who hold a permanent residency visa but are not citizens of Australia. A holder of a permanent residency visa may remain in Australia indefinitely. A 5-year initial travel facility, which corresponds to the underlying migration program, is granted alongside the permanent residency. Until the travel facility expires, the visa holder may leave and re-enter Australia freely. After that period the visa holder needs to re-apply for the travel facility.

Permanent residency may be revoked at the discretion of the responsible Minister, for example in cases of criminal misconduct.

Permanent residents enjoy many of the rights and privileges of citizens, including access to free or subsidized legal and health services. They do not have the right to vote in federal or state/territory elections, unless they were registered to vote prior to 1984, but may vote in some local government elections. Permanent residents are not entitled to an Australian passport.

Most permanent residents are eligible to become citizens after a waiting period.[2] When the waiting period is complete, the process of sitting the citizenship test and attending the ceremony will add three to twelve months to gaining citizenship.

There are a number of programs under which a person may enter and obtain permanent residency in Australia, including:

  • General Skilled Migration Program - mainly for skilled migrants, and has made available 129,250 visas for year 2012-2013
  • Humanitarian Program - mainly for refugees seeking permanent residency, and has made available 13,750 visas for year 2012-2013. Family members can also be sponsored. An unlimited number of visas can be issued for partners (either married or de facto) and dependent children. Visas for other family member types are subject to limited (known as "capping"); for example there are only 1000 visas available under the 'Parent' category, and as a consequence there is currently up to a twenty-year waiting period before undergoing consideration for these visas.

Benefits of permanent resident status include:

  • • Few limitations on employment in Australia. Some job opportunities, largely federal governmental work, require citizenship as opposed to permanent residence.
  • • The right to apply for Australian citizenship after fulfilling some criteria.
  • • For permanent residents accepted under the humanitarian program and enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place, the right to defer payment of their student contribution under the HECS-HELP scheme
  • • The right to sponsor relatives for permanent residence, subject to fulfilling residence criteria and assurance of support requirements.
  • • Children born inside Australia will be Australian citizens by birth.
  • • The right to access medical and social security benefits, though there is a 2-year waiting period for some benefits.
  • • The right to travel to New Zealand without applying for a New Zealand visa. (This right is granted by the New Zealand government.)
  • • Unrestricted rights to live, work and study in New Zealand. (This right is granted by the New Zealand government.)

Australian Skilled Immigration Points Requirements

The Skillselect system is points based, with applicants receiving points for criteria ranging from Age to work experience. Applicants must score a minimum of 60 points for their visa to be granted. The following tables give a detailed breakdown of how points are awarded for Skillselect visas.

Try our free online Australian General Skilled Migration points test to see if you score enough points for your visa.

Criteria

  • • Nominated occupation
  • • Age
  • • English language proficiency
  • • Skilled employment
  • • Educational qualifications
  • • Australian qualifications
  • • Regional study
  • • Community language skills
  • • Spouse/partner skills and qualifications
  • • Professional year
  • • Nominations and sponsorship (Subclasses 190 and 489 only)
Australian Visa Subclasses and Points Pass Marks
Visa Subclasses and Pass marks
Visa Subclass Points
Skilled - Independent (subclass 189) 60
Skilled - Sponsored (subclass 190) 60
Skilled - Regional Sponsored (subclass 489) 60
Points for Age
Points for Age
Age at time of application Points
18-24 (inclusive) 25
25-32 (inclusive) 30
33-39 (inclusive) 25
40-44 (inclusive) 15
Points for English Language Ability
Points for English Language Ability
English Language Ability Points
Superior English - person has a score of 8 or more in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) in each of the four test components. 20
Proficient English - person has a score of 7 or more in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) in each of the four test components. 10
Competent English - person has a score of 6 or more in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) in each of the four test components. 0
Points for Skilled Employment
Only 20 points can be awarded for any combination of overseas and Australian skilled employment.
Points for Australian Employment in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related occupation
Work experience Points
At least eight and up to 10 years (of past 10 years). 20
At least five but less than eight years (of past 10 years). 15
At least three but less than five years (of past 10 years). 10
 At least one but less than three years (of past 10 years).  5
Points for Overseas Employment in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related occupation
Work experience Points
At least eight and up to 10 years (of past 10 years). 15
At least five but less than eight years (of past 10 years). 10
At least three but less than five years (of past 10 years). 5
Points for Educational Qualifications
Points for Educational Qualifications
Qualification Points
Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or other Doctorate of a recognised standard. 20
At least a Bachelor degree, including a Bachelor degree with Honours or Masters, from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognised standard. 15
Diploma or trade qualification or other qualification completed in Australia, or qualification or award of recognised standard. 10
Australian Study Requirements
Points for Australian Study Requirements
Criteria: Points
One or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications awarded by an Australian educational institution and meet the Australian Study Requirement. 5
Points for Credentialled Community Language Qualifications
Points for Credentialled Community Language Qualifications
Criteria: Points
You can receive five points for credentialled community language at the time you are invited to apply. Credentialled community langue is accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). 5
Points for Study in Regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area (excluding distance education)
Points for Study in a Regional Area of Australia
Criteria: Points
You can receive five points if you meet the Australian Study Requirement to have lived and studied in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area at the time you are invited to apply. 5
Points for Partner Skill Qualifications
Points for Partner Skill Qualifications
Criteria: Points
You can receive five points if your partner meets requirements at the time you are invited to apply relating to: 5
Age;
English Language Ability;
A suitable skills assessment in a nominated occupation on the same Skilled Occupation List used for your application.
You cannot receive these points if your partner is not included on your visa application, or if they are an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.
Points for Professional Year in Australia for at least 12 months in the four years before the day you were invited
Points for Professional Year in Australia
Criteria: Points
You can receive five points for having completed a Professional Year in Australia in the four years before you are invited to apply. 5
Your Professional Year course must have been in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation. The course must have lasted for a period totalling at least 12 months.
Points for Nomination by State or Territory Government (visa subclass 190 only)
Points for Sponsorship by State or Territory Government
Criteria: Points
Nomination by a state or territory government under a State Migration Plan, for the purposes of a subclass 190  application. 5
Points for Nomination by State or Territory Government or Sponsorship by an Eligible Family Member, to reside and work in a specified/designated area (visa subclass 489 only)
Points for Nomination by State or Territory Government or Sponsorship by an Eligible Family Member
Criteria: Points
Nomination by a state or territory government under a State Migration Plan, or sponsorship by an eligible relative, to a regional area for the purposes of a subclass 489 application. 10