Benefits of becoming Australian permanent resident
Australia is considered one of the most sought-after destinations to migrate to and settle permanently. People feel secure studying in Australia and want to settle permanently afterwards. But before diving into how to get residency in Australia, let us look at the benefits of getting residency status as compared to other temporary visa options.
- No need to extend visa: If you have arrived in Australia on a temporary visa, then you need to extend it when it is about to expire. You may or may not be eligible to apply for an extension. Even if you can extend the visa, you may have to submit some documents such as a police report, financial documents, work-related documents etc to extend the visa depending upon your visa agreements and your country of origin. In the case of a permanent visa, only a travel permit gets expired every 5 years which can be extended easily when you pay a one-time fee every 5 years. Alternatively, you can apply for Australian citizenship before that visa expires if you are already in Australia for over 4 years before applying for citizenship.
- No restrictions on work hours: Some of the temporary visas such as student visa has work restrictions. However, you do not need to worry about this restriction when you become a permanent resident. Most of the students apply for a temporary graduate visa when they finish their course. However, you can apply for permanent residency immediately after you finish your studies if you are eligible.
- Eligible to apply for Australian citizenship: You can apply for citizenship if you have lived in Australia for over 4 years and you are a permanent resident for at least a year before applying for Australian citizenship. To become an Australian citizen, you need to re-submit some of your documents and need to pass a citizenship test.
- More doors are open for permanent residents: Employers do not usually hire people with temporary visas, especially in white-collar jobs or high paying jobs. If you have permanent residency, have a college degree and relevant work experience, you have high chances of getting jobs even in the government sector.
- Free medical: Even though you can have private health insurance to cover your medical bills, it does not cover you in all situations. If you are in temporary visas other than a student visa, health insurance is expensive. Permanent residents and citizens get Medicare, free health insurance that covers every medical bill except ambulance, dental and cosmetic surgeries.
- Easier to travel to other countries: If you are from a country that has a higher passport power rank, then this might not be useful for you. Otherwise, it may also be one of the benefits you get from permanent residency. You can travel to many countries without any restrictions.
- Eligible to apply for bank loans: Some of the banks in Australia used to give credit cards to even students many years ago. Nowadays, it is very unlikely that you can get a loan or credit card from Australian banks if you are not a permanent resident. Yes, you guessed it right. After permanent residency, you may be eligible to apply for loans for various purposes: personal flexible loan (unsecured), secured car loan, home mortgage or even loan to start your own business.
- Discounts on further studies: Permanent residents are considered domestic students if they want to study further. They can get enrolment in a course in 1/3rd of the price of what international students have to pay. Moreover, you can get access to more courses than international students.
- Can sponsor eligible relatives for their permanent residency: You can sponsor your brother, sister, spouse, parents and children once you get permanent residency. But how easily they can get permanent residency may vary significantly. Spouse and children can get permanent residency more easily than other family members.
- Can also work or study in New Zealand indefinitely: If you are an Australian permanent resident or citizen, then you do not need to apply for a New Zealand visa before you travel to New Zealand. You can work and study in New Zealand as long as you want to. Most people do not consider this option, as there are plenty of jobs in Australia. But you can always visit New Zealand as a tourist.
- You may be eligible to apply for local and state government jobs: You can still apply for state and local government jobs with a temporary visa but the chance of getting government jobs with a temporary visa is very rare. You can get government jobs after you become a permanent resident.
- Centrelink benefits: In dire situations, permanent residents may get various government support services including financial support. For example, in 2020 when Australia is hard hit by the pandemic, the Australian government announced Jobkeeper and Jobseeker payments to financially support individuals and businesses.
What you cannot do until you become an Australian Citizen?
- You cannot vote: Because permanent residents are not citizens of Australia, they are not allowed to vote in any of the elections: federal or state elections.
- You cannot apply for an Australian passport: You cannot hold an Australian passport until you become an Australian citizen. As a non-citizen, you still need to hold a passport from the country of your origin. If you have an Australian passport, you have access to all of the developed countries in the world.
- You cannot get access to student loans for higher studies: Even though you can get heavy discounts for university or TAFE courses, you are not eligible to apply for study loans until you become a citizen.
- You may not be eligible to apply for federal government jobs: Federal jobs need the applicant to be an Australian citizen. If you are not a citizen of Australia, then you cannot apply for federal jobs. However, you may be eligible to apply for local government jobs and state government jobs.
- You cannot join the Australian Defence Force: If you are looking to join the Australian army, navy or air force, you need to become an Australian citizen first.
There are many benefits to becoming an Australian resident. Because of the above-mentioned benefits, students like to get residency in Australia after finishing their course. There are various pathways to apply for residency. We have written about these ways in two separate pages, some of which are easier than others, depending upon your degree, age and experience.