Most international students, who are currently studying in Australia or would like to study in the future, would be interested to know the prospect of gaining Australian permanent residency (PR). Here we have addressed some common general questions below.
What does it mean to be an Australian PR or Permanent Resident?
An Australian permanent resident is a non-citizen who holds a permanent visa to live, work or study in Australia. Permanent resident holders are given most of the rights and entitlements of Australian citizens such as Medicare and are treated as locals without voting rights
What is the process to gain permanent resident visa after studies?
Australia is always in need of skilled people and Australia has been building its population through immigration from the past 200 years. Australia welcomes international students and will continue to provide an opportunity for those who have the necessary qualifications and skills. There are also several other visa categories open to international students and Australia has a very straightforward path to permanent residency under the skilled migration program.
Many international students choose to apply for permanent residency after they graduate. To do so, you must ‘express interest’ through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s SkillSelect migration program. SkillSelect is an online service that allows applicants to be considered for a skilled visa by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI). Applicants must provide personal details; a nominated occupation; information about work experience and education; information about their level of English language proficiency; details of a skills assessment related to the nominated occupations; and information about business and investment experience. This service allows applications for a number of visas.
For graduates, the most likely option is the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189). The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) is a points-tested visa for skilled workers aged 18 to 49 who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government. This visa allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident. Along with submitting an EOI, applicants must undergo a skills assessment. This provides evidence that your skills have been assessed as suitable for the nominated occupation.
For more information please see: www.border.gov.au
Note: It’s strongly advised to use the services of a registered migration agent in Australia registered with the office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) for further advice. A list of registered migration agents can be found at https://www.mara.gov.au/
How can I improve my chances of gaining PR?
There are several ways to improve the likelihood of gaining PR in Australia. Studying in Australia is and gaining a degree from recognized Australian institute, after completing your degree to gain work experience and language skills through the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485); completing a more advanced qualification; studying in regional area, English language skills; and completing a Professional Year Program (PYP) all help you with the application.
How does the ‘points test’ work?
The points test is a way adopted by the immigration department to determine if applicants suitability for a visa. To submit a Expression of Interest (EOI), applicants must score at least 60 points to be invited to apply for a visa. Points are awarded for the following factors: age, English language ability, skilled employment, qualifications, Australian study, and other factors such as your partner’s skills and qualifications or study in a regional area of Australia.
Each category has a different point allocation and some have scales depending on factors such as your age range or level of English language proficiency.
Applicants may also receive five points if they have completed one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications at an Australian institution. To be eligible, the course must have been:
- registered through the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
- Completed in a total of at least 16 calendar months
- Completed as a result of at least two academic years of study
- Taught in English
- Completed while in Australia.
For more information about the points test for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa, see the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website or see a registered migration agent registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).