As an Australian permanent resident you:
- can live and work in Australia indefinitely;
- travel in and out of Australia for five years (after which you need a Resident Return visa)
- sponsor certain family members
- apply for Australian citizenship
Becoming a permanent resident or even applying for it could have a taxation implication so you should speak to your tax adviser before doing so.
A special call out to our New Zealand friends
New Zealand citizens are often shocked to learn that they may not be eligible for Australian citizenship. This is because most New Zealanders who have arrived in Australia since 2001 are not Australian permanent residents!
New Zealand citizens who enter Australia do not have to apply for a visa before travelling. They are granted a Special Category Visa (subclass 444) (SCV) on arrival in Australia, subject to meeting certain health and character requirements. This visa allows you to remain indefinitely in Australia as long as you continue to be a New Zealand citizen. While in Australia you can work and study without restriction. However, the SCV is a temporary visa and ceases once you leave Australia. It does not provide a direct pathway to a permanent visa or citizenship.
This means that to have the rights of an Australian permanent resident you will need to apply for that first. We can help you to do this.
This is a complex question and we will need to assess all of your circumstances to give you an accurate answer. Unfortunately, not everyone will have a pathway to PR through the business. Your first step is to speak to your employer and make sure they will support your application and then we can help you on your way to becoming a permanent resident!
For employer sponsored permanent residency, the eligibility requirements for the two streams:
Temporary Residence Transition stream
You may apply for permanent residency if you have worked for your employer for at least 2 to 3 years full time while holding a subclass 457 or TSS visa. Your TSS visa must be granted under the ‘medium-long term’ stream. If your TSS visa was granted under the ‘short-term’ stream, unfortunately, you are unable to apply for PR under this stream unless you are ‘grandfathered’.
‘Grandfathered’ visa holders
If you held, or had applied for, a 457 visa on or before 18 April 2017, you can apply for PR under this stream after two years of employment with your employer, even if you have since moved onto a TSS visa under the ‘short term’ stream.
Generally, the date in which you can apply for permanent residency is usually dependant on when you were granted your temporary work visa, however, we will still need to confirm this on a case-by-case basis.
|Current Visa||Application date of visa||Time needed to be eligible for PR|
|457||Before 18 April 2017||2 out of the previous 3 years before applying|
|457/TSS||After 18 April 2017||3 out of the previous 4 years before applying|
Direct Entry stream
You may apply for permanent residency if you have the following:
- an occupation that is on the list of eligible skilled occupations – Medium to Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
- at least 3 years relevant work experience, unless an exemption applies
- a positive skills assessment, unless an exemption applies
This varies from company to company but most employers chose not to pay for permanent residence applications as there are considerable cost implications for the company including liability for Fringe Benefits Tax. You should contact your employer to discuss this directly with them.
Most employers will only agree to support your application if you use the company’s immigration provider to make the application. This is because the application will involve their nomination and dealing with a lot of sensitive company information. It also helps them ensure the quality of the advice and assistance being provided.
When your Australian permanent residency is granted, you are permitted to remain in Australia permanently and unconditionally.
You are also permitted to travel in and out of Australia as a permanent resident for a period of five years.
If you have not become an Australian citizen during the initial five year period, and if you wish to travel overseas, you will need to apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV) to enable you to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.
An RRV is a re-entry visa that will allow you to travel in and out of the country as an Australian permanent resident. It can be granted for a period of up to 5 years, depending on the amount of time you have physically spent in Australia.
To obtain an RRV with a 5 year travel facility, you will need to have been physically in Australia for a combined total of 2 years in the last 5 years immediately prior to the date of your application.
To obtain an RRV with a 12 month travel facility, you will need to show substantial ties of benefit to Australia. Depending on your personal circumstances, “substantial ties of benefit to Australia” could include business ties, cultural ties, employment ties or personal ties.
Please speak to your Ajuria advisor if you need assistance with your RRV