How To Get Permanent Residency (PR) in Australia?


An international student is sitting on the beach and dreaming about how to get permanent residency (PR) in Australia on a student visa.


Did you know every year more than half-a-million students move to Australia?


Migrating to Australia is one of the most attractive options for many people, including international students. Students from the UK, South Africa, and Southeast Asia migrate to Australia to study in top Australian universities.




If you are also planning to relocate to Australia for your further studies, then it is important to apply for a Student Visa. In this guide, we will help you understand the process of migrating to Australia step by step.



1. What is the Australian Migrating Program?


The Australian Migrating program is for everyone. It does not discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnic origin, religion, or colour. If you are a non-resident individual who would like an opportunity to reside, study and work in Australia, you’ll be surprised to know that there are many visa options available to apply such as a skilled visa, a sponsored work visa, a business visa, and a student visa.


You can find an appropriate Australian visa that is meeting your needs with the Visa Finder of the Department of Home Affairs.



2. What is a Permanent Resident (PR)?


A permanent resident of Australia has many entitlements and rights of a citizen, but there are a few differences - A citizen can enter and leave Australia anytime, however, if a PR citizen chooses to travel overseas, he/she needs to make sure that they have a permanent visa with a valid travel authority.


Citizens can also vote in Australian Government elections, but PR visa holders cannot. For both citizens and non-citizens, the eligibility for Australian services and benefits are given by the government agency.



3. International Students Migrating to Australia through the SkillSelect Migration Program


There are many international students who want to apply for permanent residency in Australia after they completed their studies. These students choose to migrate to Australia through the SkillSelect migration program. So, let’s understand what the SkillSelect migration program is and how it can help you to become a permanent resident in Australia.



4. What is SkillSelect?


SkillSelect is an online government system that enables aspiring migrants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). An EOI is not a visa application. It is proof that you want to be considered for a skilled visa to migrate to Australia.


With the help of SkillSelect, you can either be invited by the Australian government to submit a visa application or you can be nominated for a skilled visa by various Australian employers or state governments. In simple words, SkillSelect simplifies the visa application process and improves skilled migrants employment prospects.



5. Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)


A Skilled Independent Visa is a point tested visa that does not require any territory or State nomination. If you are an international student who has graduated in Australia and you are not sponsored by any employer or relative, then you can apply for the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189).





6. The Skilled Independent Visa Points Test


The visa applicants must obtain the point test pass mark to get permanent residency in Australia. The minimum points needed to receive an invitation for the Skilled Independent Visa application is 65 points.


The Skilled Visa Applicants may score points according to the following criteria:


  • Age (between 18 years to 45 years)

  • English Language Proficiency

  • Educational qualification level (for example diploma, bachelor degree, master degree or doctorate).

  • Overseas or Australian skilled employment experience in a nominated skilled occupation or closely associated field.

  • It is mandatory to complete a two or more years course in Australia.

  • Living and studying in regional Australia

  • Certification in one of the community languages in Australia.

  • Completing a government-authorized Professional Year Program (PYP) in Australia.



7. Eligibility Criteria to Apply for a Skilled Independent Visa


  • You need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and wait until you receive an invitation to apply for the visa.


  • When invited to apply for the visa, your age must be under 45 years.



  • You need to nominate a skilled occupation based on your qualifications and skills. The occupation you choose must be listed on the Skilled Occupation List. You also have to get an appropriate skills assessment for your nominated occupation before creating an EOI.


  • You are also required to provide a valid English test to demonstrate that you are proficient in English.


  • Once you received an invitation for the visa, you need to prove that you are of good character. For this, you have to sign an Australian values statement, submit police certificates, qualification evidence, the skills assessment, and other important documents.


For more information on different permanent residency visa options, visit the Department of Home Affairs website the SkillSelect section.





8. How to apply for a Skilled Independent Visa?


If you are planning to apply for a Skilled Independent Visa, then you need to take the following steps:


  • Prepare all information and arrange supporting documents such as English language test results and skills assessments.

  • Check if your occupation is listed on the Skilled Occupation List.

  • Confirm that you meet the basic requirements and score the minimum point test mark.

  • Submit the EOI for the Subclass 189 Visa online through the SkillSelect website.


After completing the EOI process, the system will give results or a points score on the basis of your claims. Your claims will be further processed by SkillSelect, and then if you are invited to apply for the visa, you’ll receive an invitation from SkillSelect.


You’ll get around 60 days to create a valid visa application online. After 60 days, the invitation will expire. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone who submits an EOI will receive an invitation to apply for the Skilled Independent Visa.


Your Expression of Interest will stay in the SkillSelect database for a maximum of two years. In that period, you can update your EOS and make any changes - for instance, adding qualifications or work experience, or adding another English test to gain more points to support your application.



9. Skilled Independent Visa Cost


The cost for the Skilled Independent Visa 189 application starts at AUD $4,045. Additional charges apply to those visa applicants who want to bring their family members along to live in Australia.


There may be other costs associated with the Skilled Independent Visa such as the police certificate, medical examinations, skills assessments, translated documents and certification, and English language tests.


There is also a different visa option, similar to the skilled independent visa 189, the Skilled Nominated Visa 190 which can bring you the same results through a state sponsorship. When a state in Australia is willing to sponsor you, this visa allows you to gain an additional five points. You can select this type of visa on SkillSelect before submitting your EOS.


Note: fees are subject to change at any time. To stay updated visit the SkillSelect website.



10. Other Options


You can also apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485 to obtain a permanent residency later. This visa enables eligible international students to live and work in Australia on a temporary basis after completing their studies for two years.


If you are not able to fulfil the Skilled Independent Visa requirements, then a Temporary Graduate Visa offers a great opportunity for you to stay in Australia to improve your English Language ability or gather skilled work experience. This can improve your chances of gaining permanent residency after some time has passed.


When applying for the Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485 you need to consider the following points:


  • The visa applicant needs to have completed a course with a minimum duration of two years in Australia.

  • There are two work streams associated with the Temporary Graduate Visa - The Post-Study work Stream and the Graduate Work Stream.

  • Visa applications are submitted directly thourhg the DIBP


For more information on the Temporary Graduate Visa visit the Department of Home Affairs.


Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Student Accommodation (Housing) Options
⇒ How to Improve Chances of Gaining PR
⇒ Driving in Australia as an International Student
⇒ Transport Modes in Australia
⇒ The Ultimate Guide to Australian Visas
⇒ Top Aussie Slang Words (Accent)

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