Australia is a dream destination for many migrants. It has a thriving economy, abundant job opportunities, a multicultural and peaceful society, and a better quality of life. Australia PR or Permanent Residency Visas for Australia allow you and your family to move to the country and live, study and work there for five years. After three years, you also become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship if you like.
What you can do with an Australian PR visa?
When you have a PR visa in Australia, you can:
- live anywhere in Australia,
- travel anywhere within the country,
- pursue higher studies in the country and may also apply for some of the educational loans,
- avail social security benefits after two years,
- sponsor the permanent residency of Australia for your relatives who are eligible for it,
- apply for government jobs in any Australian state or region, and
- travel to New Zealand and apply for NZ visa.
Who is eligible for an Australia PR visa?
There are different types of PR visas that you may apply for and each one of them has different eligibility requirements. Visa2Immigration Australian visa experts share with you the general requirements for Australia PR applicants here:
- You need at least 65 points to apply for Australia PR. Australian authorities calculate your eligibility according to a grid-point system where you are given certain points based on specific pre-defined factors. Here is a quick overview of the highest points you can get in different Australia PR criteria:
- You get 30 points if you are in the age group of 25 to 33 years.
- You get 20 points if you get 8 bands in IELTS or other approved English proficiency tests.
- You get 15 points if you have the relevant work experience of 8-10 years outside Australia but if you have that much work experience in Australia, you get 20 points.
- A doctorate from outside Australia can get you 20 points.
- A Master’s degree by Research or a doctorate in Australia gets you 10 points.
- You get 5 points each if you:
- studied in a regional area,
- have accreditation in community language,
- spent a year in a skilled professional program in Australia, and
- have a state sponsorship (for visa 190).
- If you are including your spouse or partner in your PR visa application, you get 5 points for someone with ‘Competent English’ and 10 points for someone who is a skilled person (and meet all the age, English language, and skill requirements).
- You get 10 points extra if you do not have a spouse or a partner or if your spouse or partner is a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
- Your age should be under 45 years of age to be eligible to apply for Australian permanent residency visa.
- You need to meet at least ‘competent’ level of proficiency in the standardized English language test.
- Your occupation should be on one of the three types of Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL) of Australia. These lists are updated regularly according to the requirements of the labour market of Australia. SOL lists you need to check include:
- Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
- Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
- The Regional Occupation List (ROL)
What are different types of Australian PR Visas you can apply for?
You need to determine which Australia PR visa category you qualify for before you apply. Some of the most popular PR visa categories in Australia are:
- Family PR visas: The family stream visa is a permanent residence visa for Australia. It is meant for parents, children, and spouse/partner of immigrants who hold permanent resident Australia visa or are now citizens of the country. If you marry an Australian, you can apply under this category.
- Business or investment-based PR visas: If you want to invest in Australia as a business person, hold a provisional visa (visa subclass 188) and meet the financial requirements, you can apply for business or investment-stream permanent residence visa.
- Skilled worker PR visas: The work-stream permanent residence visa is meant for skilled workers who want to migrate to Australia or work in the country for long-term. Skilled worker visas include:
- Visa subclass 189 or Skilled Independent Visa: If you are a skilled work but do not have a sponsor, you can apply under this category.
- Visa subclass 190 or Skilled Nominated Visa: If you are nominated by an Australian state or territory and your occupation is a part of one of the SOL lists, you can apply under this category.
- Visa subclass 491 or Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa: If you are nominated or sponsored by an Australian state, region, or territory, have the required skills, and ready to work the state, territory, or region of nomination or sponsorship, you can apply under this visa category.
What all documents will you need while applying PR for Australia?
Documents are crucial to the PR application process. Your application must have:
- The PR visa application form,
- 2 passport-size photos,
- Birth certificate,
- Character certificate,
- Educational Credential Assessment report,
- English Language test results (such as IELTS or PTE),
- Police Clearance Certificate (PCC),
- Proof of nomination or sponsorship (if applicable),
- Reference Letters, and
- Spouse’s Documents (if your spouse is also a co-applicant).
How to apply for Australian PR Visa? (Step-by-Step Guide)
Step 1: Check the Requirements
Before you start the application process, you must check three things:
- Is your occupation on one of the skilled occupation lists?
- Do you meet all the eligibility requirements?
- How many points you have based on the points table?
An Australian PR consultant at Visa2immigration can help you determine your eligibility for permanent residence in your destination country.
Step 2: Clear the English Proficiency Test
You need to take standardized English proficiency tests approved by Australian authorities. These include IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc. You need to obtain the specified score to be eligible for the procedure for PR in Australia. Some tests are more affordable than others while some are said to be easier than others. Consult an expert to know which English language test will suit your purpose best.
Step 3: Get approval from the relevant Skills Assessment authority.
Different occupations have different professional bodies that assess the skills of immigrants. These authorities make sure that you have the required education, skills, and work experience to contribute to Australian industry and economy.
The skill assessing authorities of Australia include:
- Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA)
- Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM)
- Australasian Osteopathic Accreditation Council Limited ( AOAC)
- Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Incorporated (AVBC)
- Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council Limited (ANZPAC)
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine (ANZSNM)
- Australian Association of Social Workers Limited (AASW)
- Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality (ACECQA)
- Australian Community Workers Association Inc. (ACWA)
- Australian Computer Society Incorporated (ACS)
- Australian Dental Council Limited (ADC)
- Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited ( AITSL)
- Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS)
- Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
- Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council Limited (ANMAC)
- Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association Limited (AOPA)
- Australian Pharmacy Council Limited (APharmC)
- Australian Physiotherapy Council Limited (APC)
- Australian Psychological Society Limited (APS)
- Australian Society of Medical Imagery and Radiation Therapy (ASMIRT)
- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
- Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA)
- Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
- Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia Limited (CCEA)
- CPA Australia Ltd (CPAA)
- Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA)
- Institute of Managers and Leaders National (IML)
- Institute of Public Accountants Ltd (IPA)
- Legal admissions authority of a state or territory, such as:
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Medical Board of Australia (MedBA)
- National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI)
- Occupational Therapy Council of Australia Limited (OTC)
- Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand Limited (OCANZ)
- Podiatry Board of Australia (PodBA)
- Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute Limited (SSSI)
- The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS)
- The Institution of Engineers Australia (Engineers Australia)
- The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited (SPA)
- Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) or (TRA (trades))
- Vocational Education and Training Assessment Services (VETASSESS (for non-trade occupations))
- Vocational Education and Training Assessment Services (VETASSESS)
The skill assessment process of all these authorities differs according to occupations they represent. Australia PR consultants at Visa2immigration can help you with the skill assessment process too. Contact them to know how they can assist you with it.
Step 4: Choose appropriate Visa Subclass while applying for Expression of Interest (EOI)
In the next step, you have to fill up an online form on the SkillSelect portal and create an EOI account. If you want to become a permanent resident of Australia, you need to apply under one of the three following visa categories:
- Visa 189,
- Visa 190, or
- Visa 491.
Note that Visa 189 and Visa 190 are permanent visas while Visa 491 is a temporary visa. Visa 491 subclass has a validity of five years which can later be converted into a PR visa. The answers to the questions in the online application should match the visa category you chose.
Step 5: Respond to the Invitation to Apply (ITA)
Based on your application, you may or may not receive an ITA for Australia PR. Those who receive the invitation need to submit the PR application for Australia within 60 days. This application must include all the supporting documents, including personal, work experience, and immigration documents. You also need to get your medical examination and police clearance certification done and submit the certificates to the visa and immigration authority.
Now all you have to do is the PR visa.
How much time does it take to get PR?
PR visa application process involves several steps and each step takes time. The total processing time for an Australian PR visa may take anywhere between eight months to a year or more based on the individual application.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how much time each step of the Australia PR visa process takes:
- Skill assessment usually takes 45 to 60 days. Submitting all the documents and responding to any queries quickly can speed up this step of the Australian PR visa process.
- It takes 15 days from registering for EOI to get an ITA. If you have a higher Australian PR eligibility score, you will have higher chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residency Australia visa.
- You get up to 60 days to submit your visa. Once you receive an ITA, you have about two months to apply for a PR visa to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of Australia.
- It may take up to a month for you to get your medical and character certificates and arrange your documents. It is advisable that as soon as you receive the invitation, you should start getting your papers in order.
- Once you apply, the visa approval process may take 3 to 5 months. After you are granted a visa, you have to move to Australia within six months.
With more than a decade of experience as immigration and visa consultants, our experts can make the PR process in Australia easier and quicker for you.
What is the cost of Australia PR visa?
Besides the visa application fee of the Australia PR process, you also have to pay fees for Skills Assessment, English language tests, and medical documents. Other costs include police clearance, getting your documents translated (if they are not in English), health insurance, airfare to Australia, etc. If you hire a professional migration agent to help you with your visa application process, you will have to pay him or her too. As a general estimate, the total cost of getting PR in Australia is around AUD$ 6,000 to 8,000 for skilled migrants and around AUD$ 8,500 to 15,000 for business migrants.
PR visa application costs include:
- Australia PR visa fee is AUD$ 3,670.
- Skills Assessment fees range from AUD$ 300 to 1,050 depending on your occupation.
- English Language exam fees may vary from test-to-test. Most English Language tests (such as IELTS, PTE, TOEFL and CAE) range from AUD$ 300 to 330. OET (Occupational English Test) meant for the healthcare sector costs almost double at AUD$ 600.
- State sponsorship or nomination fees (for Visa 190) is around AUD$ 300.
- Fees for medical examination, police clearance certificate etc. may range from AUD$ 50 to 200.
- Translations and document certifications may cost you up to AUD$ 500.
These costs are subject to change. To get the latest estimate, contact a Visa2immigration expert.