Permanent Residency

Table of Contents

    All Pathways Into Australian Permanent Residency

    Corazon Jasa

    Written: December 7, 2023

    Updated: June 18, 2024

    18 min read

    permanent residency australia

    Finding a place to call home is a journey many dream about, and Australia, with its diverse culture and thriving economy, often tops the list for those seeking a fresh start. The road to Australian permanent residency (PR) can seem winding and complex, filled with various visa options and eligibility requirements that might leave you scratching your head.

    Whether it’s through skilled migration, family ties or business ventures – understanding these pathways is key.

    Did you know? You have more than just one shot at making Australia your permanent home! There are multiple avenues tailored to different skills, relationships, and investments. Through this article, we’ll guide you through the maze of processes involved in securing permanent residency australia —demystifying the routes so you can find the best fit for your situation.

    Get ready; it’s time to take control of your future down under!

    Key Takeaways

    • There are many ways to become a permanent resident in Australia, like skilled work, family sponsorship, and business investment.
    • You must meet certain rules like health checks and character tests to get Australian PR.
    • Permanent residents can live, work, and study in Australia but cannot vote like citizens can.
    • New Zealand citizens living in Australia have a special way to apply for PR.
    • Studying trade or vocational courses in Australia helps increase the chance of getting PR.

    What is Australian Permanent Residency

    Australian Permanent Residency refers to the status of a non-citizen who is granted the right to live and work in Australia indefinitely. It provides various rights and entitlements, such as access to healthcare, education, and social security benefits, but does not grant the same voting rights as Australian citizenship.

    There are different pathways available for individuals to obtain permanent residency in Australia.

    Requirements and eligibility

    To live in Australia forever, you need to get a permanent residency visa. This means you have to show that you fit the rules they set. For example, if you want a partner visa, you must prove your relationship is real and will continue.

    Or, if you wish for a retiree visa, there are age and money rules to meet. Each type of visa has different things you need to show.

    You start by choosing the right kind of permanent visa for your situation. Then gather all the papers that say why you should get that visa. This could include work history for skilled worker visas or family ties for family sponsorship visas.

    It’s important to know what each pathway needs from you and make sure everything is correct before applying.

    Rights and entitlements compared to citizenship

    Permanent residents in Australia enjoy many of the same rights as citizens. You can live, work, and study in any part of Australia if you’re a permanent resident. You’ll also get access to Medicare, the public healthcare system, and can sponsor relatives for permanent residence.

    However, there are some differences between residency and citizenship. Permanent residents can’t vote in Australian government elections or hold an Australian passport.

    Even though permanent residency comes with many benefits, becoming a citizen gives you even more. As a citizen, not only can you vote but also apply for jobs in the federal government that require citizenship.

    You will have access to more scholarships and join the Australian Defence Force or become part of the jury service. Plus, as a citizen travelling back into Australia is easier because you don’t need a visa – your Australian passport is all you need.

    Different pathways to PR

    If you want to live in Australia forever, there are many ways to do it. Each path fits different people and their goals.

    • Skilled Migration: If you have skills Australia needs, you might go this way. You fill out an application showing your work experience, education, and language ability. Points are given for each part of your application. If you get enough points, you could be invited to apply for permanent residency (PR). An Australian PR points Calculator can help you work out if you qualify.
    • Employer-Sponsored Migration: This is for if you have a job offer in Australia. Your work must be on a list of jobs that Australia wants. The company that offers you the job must also agree to sponsor you.
    • Family Stream Migration: Having family in Australia can help. If a close family member is already an Australian citizen or PR holder, they might sponsor you.
    • Business Migration: People who own a business can use this way. You must show that setting up or managing a business in Australia will be good for the country.
    • Retiree Pathway: Recently made rules let some retirees stay in Australia longer. They must show they’ve lived in Australia for a while and have enough money.

    Applying for a Permanent Residency Visa

    To apply for a Permanent Residency Visa, you’ll need to meet general requirements and adhere to specific processes and timelines. Understanding the application process is crucial in securing your pathway to Australian permanent residency.

    General requirements

    Getting Australian permanent residency (PR) involves steps you need to follow. You must meet certain requirements before you can live in Australia for a long time.

    • Check if you qualify: Make sure you fit the eligibility criteria for a PR visa. This includes things like your age, language skills, and work experience.
    • Have a good character: You will need to show that you have not done bad things and that you are a good person.
    • Meet the health requirements: Australia wants to know you’re healthy. So, they will ask for medical checks.
    • Pass the points test: Some visas need you to score enough points based on your skills, English level, and work background.
    • Get nominated or sponsored: If needed, find an employer or state in Australia who will back up your application.
    • Get your skills assessed: Show that your education and job skills match what Australia needs.
    • Apply for the right visa: Pick the visa that matches how you plan to live and work in Australia.
    • Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI): Use Australia’s SkillSelect system to tell them about yourself and your wish to stay in Australia.
    • Wait for an invitation to apply (ITA): If your EOI scores high enough, they might invite you to apply for PR.
    • Lodge your application fast: Once invited, get all required documents ready quickly, so you don’t lose your chance.

    Process and timelines

    After you understand the general requirements for Australian permanent residency, it’s time to look at the process and timelines involved. Here’s how it usually goes:

    • Choose the right visa. First, pick a visa that fits your situation. There are many kinds, like employer-sponsored pathways or points-based skilled visas.
    • Check if you meet all the rules. Before applying, make sure you match the migration criteria for your chosen visa.
    • Get your documents ready. You’ll need things like proof of identity and job skills.
    • Submit your application online through the Department of Home Affairs website.
    • Wait for a decision. This can take different amounts of time based on what kind of visa you apply for.
    • If you get a temporary visa first, you might wait about 2 to 7 years before becoming eligible for permanent residency.

    Australian Citizenship

    To become an Australian citizen, you must meet certain eligibility criteria and pass a citizenship test. This gives you the privilege to vote and hold public office, as well as carry certain responsibilities as a member of the community.

    Eligibility criteria

    You want to live in Australia forever? To do this, you need to become a permanent resident first. Let’s look at what you must do to qualify for Australian Permanent Residency (PR).

    • You must have a visa. This visa can be one that lets workers stay (like the TSS 482 or the 457 working visa) or one for students and recent graduates (like student visas or the 485 Graduate visa).
    • You should be under a certain age, usually less than 45 years old. However, older people might qualify for other options.
    • You need enough points. For points – based skilled visas, you collect points for your age, English skills, work experience, and education.
    • You have to pass health checks. Australia wants to make sure you’re healthy before letting you stay permanently.
    • Character checks are important. The government looks at your past to decide if you’re good to live in Australia.
    • Having skills Australia needs is key. Your job should be on a list of jobs that Australia really needs people for.
    • Sometimes states sponsor people. If an Australian state says they want you, it might help you get PR.
    • Families matter too. If you have family in Australia willing to support you, it could also lead to PR.
    • Retirees have their own rules. If you’re retired and meet certain conditions, there’s a way for you too.
    • Being from New Zealand helps. If Kiwis live here long enough and follow certain steps, they can become Aussies.

    Citizenship test

    To become an Aussie citizen, you must pass the citizenship test. This exam looks at your understanding of Australia’s values, history, and traditions. It’s a key step to fully joining the Aussie community.

    Some people find this test tough; if that’s you, don’t worry – help is out there. Groups and classes can guide you through study materials and practice questions.

    For those coming from far away places on humanitarian grounds, the test may feel extra hard. Knowing this, support services are ready to assist in lots of ways. They make sure everyone gets a fair chance to learn what they need for the test.

    Your effort in passing opens doors to new rights and roles as an Australian citizen.

    Privileges and responsibilities

    As a permanent resident in Australia, you have the privilege to live, work, and study in the country without any limitations. You also have access to healthcare benefits and can sponsor family members for permanent residency.

    As with these privileges, there are responsibilities too. Permanent residents need to obey Australian laws and are required to enrol in Medicare for health coverage. It’s important to note that applying for citizenship is also one of the steps towards becoming an integral part of Australian society.

    When it comes to Australian citizenship, it brings with it numerous privileges such as the right to vote, apply for government jobs, and freely travel visa-free to over 180 countries.

    Becoming a Permanent Resident through Different Visas

    There are several visa options available to become an Australian permanent resident, each with its own requirements and benefits. To learn more about the different pathways into Australian permanent residency, keep reading!

    TSS (Subclass 482)

    The TSS 482 visa is for skilled individuals with specific occupations. It lets them work in Australia for employers who can’t find Australians for the positions. If you’ve held a Medium-Term TSS visa and worked with the same employer for three years, you could apply for permanent residency.

    There’s also a pathway to permanent residency through the Employer Sponsored Temporary Transition Stream (186 ENS/187 RSMS) if you have a TSS visa. And if you hold a Short-term Skilled Occupation List visa under the 482, it may make you eligible for permanent residency, no matter your occupation.

    Holding a TSS 482 visa opens up opportunities to obtain permanent residency in Australia. Whether it’s through working with the same employer for three years or meeting specific occupation criteria, this pathway offers potential long-term settlement in the country.

    (Subclass 457) Working visa

    The 457 working visa is a popular option for skilled migrants who want to work in Australia. If you hold a 457 visa for at least two years, you can apply for Permanent Residency through the Temporary Transition Stream.

    This pathway offers a way to transition from temporary to permanent residency status in Australia, providing an opportunity for skilled workers to establish long-term roots in the country.

    Applying for Permanent Residency via the Temporary Transition Stream requires meeting specific eligibility criteria and following the application process diligently. With changes to immigration regulations, it’s important to stay informed about the latest requirements and opportunities related to this pathway.

    Student visa (Subclass 500)

    Moving from the 457 working visa, it’s important to understand that international students currently on a student visa in Australia have various options to obtain Australian permanent residency.

    Student visa holders can explore different pathways to obtain permanent residency, such as the Post Study Work Visa and General Skilled Migration. The shift from a Student visa to a Permanent skilled visa is the most common pathway for migrants arriving on a temporary visa, with many individuals following this route to achieve permanent residency in Australia.

    This transition offers significant opportunities for international students seeking long-term settlement in Australia and contributes to the country’s diverse and skilled workforce.

    (Subclass 485) Graduate visa

    Recent international graduates from Australian institutions can apply for the 485 Graduate visa. This visa lets you live, work, and study in Australia. After three years, it can lead to permanent residency.

    There are different streams for this visa, including the Post-Study Work stream and the Graduate Work stream. Depending on your qualification studied, the visa can be granted for up to 4 years.

    If you’re considering other pathways into Australian permanent residency, there are various options available through different visas as well as vocational recognition. Let’s take a look at how to become a permanent resident through these alternative routes.

    (Subclass 489) skilled provisional visa

    Moving on from the 485 Graduate visa, another pathway to permanent residency in Australia is through the 489 skilled provisional visa. This visa allows skilled workers to live and work in regional Australia for a specified period.

    It is designed for foreign skilled workers with occupations listed on the relevant Occupations List. Notably, there is an extended stay pathway available for this visa, allowing skilled workers to continue living and working in regional Australia.

    For those considering Australian permanent residency, understanding the various pathways available can be essential. The subclass 489 visa provides an opportunity for skilled workers to contribute their expertise to regional areas of Australia while pursuing their goal of obtaining permanent residency.

    State sponsorship

    Before considering state sponsorship, it’s worth noting that the 489 skilled provisional visa is a stepping stone to permanent residency for skilled workers willing to live and work in regional Australia.

    Once you have secured this visa, state sponsorship becomes pivotal in your journey towards Australian permanent residency. State governments nominate skilled migrants who possess the necessary expertise required by the specific state, opening up opportunities for them to settle and contribute to the economy of that region.

    State sponsorship isn’t just about obtaining a visa; it’s an opportunity for migrants to become active members of various states’ workforces and economies. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional and Skilled Work Regional visas are examples of subclasses where state sponsorship plays a vital role.

    Family related visas

    Family related visas are a pathway to reunite with loved ones in Australia. The Subclass 103 Parent visa allows parents to join their children in the country if most of their children live there.

    Additionally, the family sponsored visa Australia 491 offers a provisional route to permanent residency, providing families with an opportunity for long-term reunion.

    These family visas provide vital opportunities for reuniting families and can be life-changing for those seeking to establish roots and build a future together. Now let’s explore how vocational recognition can also play a role in your path to Australian permanent residency.

    Other Pathways to Australian Permanent Residency

    Another pathway to Australian Permanent Residency is for New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia for a continuous period. This special category visa allows them to apply for PR after meeting certain criteria.

    New Zealand citizen

    As a New Zealand citizen, you have a pathway to Australian permanent residency and eventually citizenship. You must meet the general residence requirement of being lawfully present in Australia for four years, including 12 months as a condition for permanent residency.

    From 1 July 2023, New Zealand citizens living in Australia for four years or more will be eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship. As an SCV holder or permanent visa holder, you will have access to social security entitlements and benefits such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    Now let’s explore the vocational recognition process involved in obtaining Australian Permanent Residency.

    Vocational Recognition

    Studying a trade or vocational course in Australia can significantly increase your chances of obtaining Australian Permanent Residency. Vocational courses, when combined with work experience, provide a clear pathway to permanent residency in Australia.

    There are specific trade courses in Australia that are eligible for Permanent Residency, with varying study durations and career paths. These courses focus on developing practical skills and knowledge relevant to specific industries, making them valuable for both your professional growth and your visa prospects.

    Taking up these vocational courses not only equips you with hands-on expertise but also enhances your opportunities for securing permanent residency in Australia. It’s essential to explore the wide range of vocational options available as they can greatly impact your journey towards permanent residency.


    In conclusion, permanent residency in Australia offers numerous pathways for individuals and families. Whether through skilled migration, business migration, or family migration, the process can lead to various rights and entitlements comparable to citizenship.

    Understanding the different visa options and eligibility criteria is crucial for pursuing Australian permanent residency successfully. By following the necessary steps and meeting the requirements, individuals can navigate these pathways towards a long-term stay in Australia as permanent residents.


    1. What are some ways to get permanent residency in Australia?

    You can get Australian permanent residency through employer-sponsored pathways, points-based skilled visas, business migration, and temporary visas that lead to residency.

    2. What do I need for a points-based skilled visa?

    For a points-based skilled visa, you’ll have to meet certain requirements like age, language skills, and work experience. You get points for these things which help your application.

    3. Can my job help me become a permanent resident of Australia?

    Yes! If an employer in Australia sponsors you because they think you’re right for the job, this can be a path to becoming a permanent resident.

    4. After I become a permanent resident, how do I apply for citizenship?

    As a permanent resident with residency rights in Australia, there’s another process called the citizenship application process which lets you apply to become an Aussie citizen.