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Gutsy Gracie

22 June 2015
North Central Victoria
A friend is going through this at the moment.

He arrived with his mother in 1964 at 4 years of age, from the UK, as part of the migration program at the time, intended to increase Australia's population. Her parents (his grandparents) had arrived only a couple of years before on the same program.

He attended pre, primary, secondary schools, and completed a Trade Apprenticeship. He married twice, and has 4 children.

He has never been unemployed, paid truck loads of tax all his adult working life, now 55, has contributed to Superannuation for 25+ years, and paid Child Support.

He has never had cause to get a Passport, as he never wanted to leave Australia, nor has he claimed any social security.

He holds a Heavy endorsed drivers licence, has a Medicare card, and of course Australian Bank accounts, which require substantial proof of identity.

His mum changed his last name by deed poll to that of his step father a couple of years after arriving. Unfortunately, he was never formally adopted by him, but he is the only Father he has ever known. His mum did decide to formally become an Australian Citizen in recent years.

Recently he lost his job due to the Company going into liquidation, and that was when the problem became evident. The Government sponsored program that guarantees eligible termination payments in these circumstances, won't give it to him, as he can't prove his permanent residency status. Given it is upwards of 20k, he is rightfully pissed about it!

It is utterly ridiculous when the migrants on those programs were automatically granted permanent residency, with an option to apply for Australian Citizenship some years later; it was never compulsory, nor did you lose your permanent resident status if you chose not to.

If his money is good enough for our Government taxation coffers, Banks, superannuation, and child support, and he's never claimed any social security benefits, he certainly doesn't deserve to be treated this way.

Would appreciate any advice on what he can do; now unemployed with no income or social security, so no capacity to fork out $'s to prove his status, and when he was automatically deemed a permanent resident on entry to Australia as a child of 4, in 1964, why should he have to anyway? Ridiculous!

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi there,

I understand your friend's frustration (and anger) and in his position, I would probably be feeling the same. Unfortunately, being a resident for tax purposes (meaning, you must pay tax to the ATO) is not the same as permanent residency. Many citizens or permanent residents of other countries who work in Australia also have to pay tax to the ATO, as they are also considered a resident for taxation purposes.

Given that they has lived in Australia for so long, he probably qualifies for Australian citizenship. Has he looked into applying? I am not an immigration law expert so I cannot directly answer your question. I would recommend your friend speak with the Department of Immigration and an immigration lawyer about his particular situation, what visa he and his parents were/are on and what his options are. It may be as easy as going through the motions to get the PR/citizenship certificate. To get connected to an immigration lawyer, your friend can try here: Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You -

Best of luck to your friend.

Melinda Jackson

Active Member
14 February 2015
Good morning,

If your friend is a permanent resident, he can request evidence of his status from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection using this form:

He will need to show when he arrived in Australia - if he does not have a copy of his mum's passport to enter (unlikely!), then this information is available from the National Archives of Australia.

There are also some visas for long term residents, but he shouldn't need to apply for a permanent visa if he already has one.

Hope this helps.
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