Australian permanent residency is available as part of a family, as a skilled migrant and through humanitarian grounds. To become an Australian permanent resident, you must meet certain criteria (or tests). This post will mainly cover Australian permanent residency for skilled migrant and family members.
Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program, administered by the Department of Home Affairs, also sets out some introductory information about Australian residency on humanitarian grounds.
Entry criteria to become an Australian permanent resident
If you’re applying to become an Australian permanent resident, you must undergo a health and character testing.
The health test is extensive and will also require the partner and children of the main applicant to undergo the health check. The Medical officer of the Commonwealth has the discretion waive further testing even if a health issue is found so long as they believe that there are no further health risks to the wider community. However, if there is a potential health risk to the community, the waiver cannot be exercised.
The character test is based on risk to the community. Applicants who have a criminal record or have engaged in criminal conduct, associated with criminals or pose a risk to national security may fail the application for permanent residency. Migration officers have wide powers to make judgement on character.
Permanent Residency for Family
Family members can be any part of the family unit including spouse (and same-sex partners), children, parents and other family.
A successful partner visa will need the applicant and sponsor to be in a legitimate relationship, be of legal age under Australia law, have been legally married or in a de facto relationship that can be proved with 12 months of cohabitation.
The partner visa is a two-stage process that has an initial provisional two-year visa, which becomes permanent residency on completion of the two years. The provisional visa can be waived if the couple have lived together for more than 5 years or they have a child.
If you intend to sponsor your fiancé, you will need to apply for a prospective marriage visa. This visa is only a nine-month visa and is expensive. If your fiancé intends to stay after the nine-month period, you would be expected to apply for a partner visa.
Australian permanent residency for dependant children under 18 is fairly straightforward, but children over 18 need to demonstrate they are still dependent on their parent for financial support.
Skilled Migrant Permanent Residency
Skilled workers can either be sponsored by a prospective employer or they can migrate independently.
If you are a skilled worker migrating independently, your application to become an Australian permanent resident depends on Australia needing your skills. Applications are point-tested, which means there are points awarded for certain aspects of the application such as age, qualifications, English language competency, etc.
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