How to Become a Permanent Resident in Australia

In most of the countries, foreigners can become residents by applying for a permanent residence permit in Australia. In Australia, however, the residency is granted when the foreigner applies for a permanent visa. This document offers the right to migrate to Australia on an indefinite basis.

As a foreigner, a person can become a permanent resident in Australia through several legal pathways; however, all of them require the issuance of a permanent visa. You can find out the complete process involved in this case from our Australia immigration lawyer.

What are the basic options for becoming a permanent resident in Australia?

The basic legal options through which a foreign person can be granted residency in this country are prescribed by the Department of Home Affairs. One can become a permanent resident in Australia when applying for a permanent visa that can be issued for the following purposes: family-related purposes, business purposes or investment-related matters, or for work reasons.

The permanent visa for employment purposes can be requested by a foreigner who has obtained a job in Australia and who is sponsored by an Australian employee. This type of visa can also be used by persons who have a high level of expertise in their fields.

One can become a permanent resident in Australia when applying for a family-related permanent visa, which will grant the right to a residence permit in Australia. This document is available for those who migrate to Australia as partners, parents, dependent relatives, or children of persons who are Australian citizens or of foreign persons who have obtained permanent residency in this country.

The same visa is open for persons who are citizens of New Zealand and who meet the required eligibility criteria; it can also be used by persons who are adopted children of Australian citizens or those who are in the process of being adopted. You can rely on the legal advice of our immigration lawyer in Australia if you are interested in the issuance of a permanent visa required for adoption purposes.

Can a retiree become obtain a residence permit in Australia?

A foreigner can also apply for becoming a permanent resident in Australia as a retiree. For this, the foreigner must be the holder of a previous visa issued in Australia. In order to be eligible for permanent residency, the foreign retiree must have applied and obtained the Retirement Visa (subclass 410) or the Investment Retirement Visa (subclass 405).

The person can be eligible for a permanent residence permit in Australia only if he or she has obtained one of the above-mentioned visas. If starting with 8th of May 2018, the person has obtained any other type of visa, the eligibility criteria will not be satisfied. Besides these, it is necessary to know that the applicant must be in Australia at the moment the application is made.

What are the basic rights one has when becoming a permanent resident in Australia?

As a foreigner, one should be aware that the legislation for immigration in Australia makes a clear distinction between the rights of a permanent resident and those of an Australian citizen (having Australian citizenship allows you to vote, while being a permanent resident does not offer this right, for example).

You will be able to enroll in the local health system, to work and study here, apply for a bank loan for the purpose of purchasing a property, act as a sponsor for other family members living abroad and who want to migrate to Australia, but also to participate in free English classes. According to the data of the Parliament of Australia, the migration program yielded the following results (with regards to permanent residents):

• in 1984-1985, there were 44,200 permanent visas (granted as a residence permit in Australia) issued for family purposes, 10,100 for employment purposes and 14,207 for humanitarian reasons;
• 10 years later, in 1994-1995, the permanent visas issued for family purposes and humanitarian reasons were maintained at approximately the same level (44,500 and 14,858 respectively), but the number of persons relocated here on a permanent basis for employment purposes increased at 30,400;
• in 2004-2005, the number of permanent visas issued for immigration to Australia for humanitarian reasons and family reasons decreased (41,740 and 13,178 respectively), but the number of work visas increased at 77,880;
• in 2014-2015, there were 61,085 family-related permanent visas, 127,774 work visas and 13,756 humanitarian visas;
• in 2015-2016, the number of family visas slightly decreased at 57,400, while work visas increased at 128,550 – the humanitarian visas increased as well, at 17,555, reaching a record level since the beginning of the measurement, in 1984.


If you want to obtain a permanent residence permit in Australia, you will have the right of staying here on an indefinite basis and you can also apply for Australian citizenship, but you will not be allowed to vote or obtain a job in the Australian Government.

Persons who want to find out information on how to apply for a visa that grants the right of becoming a permanent resident in Australia are invited to address our lawyer. Our immigration lawyer in Australia is ready to assist you with valuable information, tailored in accordance with the characteristics of your situation.