Becoming an Australian Permanent Resident (PR) is a significant process with various visa pathways and requirements. Here’s a comprehensive guide that delves into the steps and details:
Step 1: Choose the Right Visa Pathway
Australia offers several visa pathways for permanent residency, such as Skilled Migration (Subclass 189 etc), Family Visas, and Employer Sponsorship. Research and choose the one that aligns with your skills, qualifications, and circumstances.
Step 2: Check Eligibility
Each visa category has specific eligibility criteria. Common requirements include:
- Age: Generally, you should be under 45 years old (preferably under 40).
- English Language Proficiency: You might need to prove your English skills through tests like IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE.
- Skills Assessment: If applying through skilled migration, your occupation must be on the relevant skilled occupation list. You’ll need a positive skills assessment from the relevant authority.
- Qualifications: Your educational qualifications should match the requirements for your chosen occupation.
- Health and Character Checks: You must meet health and character requirements. This includes medical examinations and police clearance certificates.
- Points Test: Many skilled migration visas use a points-based system to assess eligibility.
Step 3: Submit Expression of Interest (EOI)
For skilled migration visas, create an online account on the SkillSelect website and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Provide details about your skills, qualifications, and work experience. Your EOI will be ranked based on points, and you might receive an invitation to apply for a visa if your score is high enough.
Step 4: Receive Invitation to Apply
If your EOI is selected and your score is competitive, you’ll receive an invitation to apply for the visa you expressed interest in. This invitation specifies the visa subclass and provides instructions for applying.
Step 5: Lodge Visa Application
Submit a complete visa application within the timeframe stated in the invitation. Attach all required documents, including:
- Proof of skills assessment.
- Evidence of English language proficiency.
- Health examination results.
- Police clearance certificates.
- Educational and work-related documents.
- Other documents specific to your visa category.
Step 6: Attend Health and Character Assessments
Undergo medical examinations by a panel physician approved by the Australian government. This is to ensure you meet the health requirements. Additionally, provide police clearance certificates from countries where you’ve lived for a certain period to demonstrate your good character.
Step 7: Wait for Visa Processing
The processing time can vary based on the type of visa and the complexity of your application. You can track the progress of your application through your online account.
Step 8: Receive Visa Grant
Upon approval, you’ll receive a Permanent Resident visa grant. This allows you to live, work, and study in Australia indefinitely.
Step 9: Make Initial Entry to Australia
Plan and make your initial entry to Australia before the specified date to activate your Permanent Resident status.
Step 10: Become Permanent Resident
After arriving in Australia, the day you land your Permanent Residency will commence. You will not receive any Permanent Resident card because in Australia everything is online and you already have your PR visa either as in email or printout as proof of your PR status.
It’s essential to consult the official Department of Home Affairs website for the most up-to-date information and specific details about the visa pathway you’re interested in. If you find the process overwhelming, consider seeking advice from a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer.