Process for Australia Immigration? Visa options for Permanent Resident?
You can become a permanent resident of Australia by applying for and being granted a permanent visa that allows you to remain in Australia indefinitely. The most common permanent visas include some skilled work and family visas.
When you apply for a permanent visa, you will need to meet our visa requirements. Look under Eligibility in each visa to see what those requirements are.
As an Australian permanent resident, your right to re-enter Australia after traveling overseas will depend on whether the travel facility on your permanent visa is valid. You do not have an automatic right of entry to Australia.
You may be eligible to become an Australian citizen after meeting certain requirements, including being a permanent visa holder and residing in Australia for a certain amount of time.
An Australian permanent resident and an Australian citizen are not the same.
As a permanent resident of Australia, you generally can:
- remain in Australia indefinitely
- work and study in Australia
- enroll in Australia’s national health scheme, Medicare
- apply for bank loans to buy property
- sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
- apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible
- Travel to and from Australia for as long as your travel facility permits.
- attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program
- work in New Zealand
You may also qualify for other government benefits and services. If you hold a permanent visa, but you are not residing in Australia, your eligibility for the above may be impacted. Contact the relevant government departments or authorities to confirm your rights and obligations.
Unlike Australian citizens, a permanent resident generally cannot:
- have an Australian passport
- vote in Australian Government elections unless you enrolled (as a British subject) before 26 January 1984
- access student loans
- join the Australian Defence Force
- obtain ongoing work in the Australian Government
- return to Australia from overseas without a valid travel facility (you do not have an automatic right of entry to Australia).
Travel facility on your permanent visa
When you are granted a permanent visa, you are usually permitted a 5-year travel facility. This means you can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you like in the 5 years from the date your permanent visa was granted, as long as your visa remains valid.
After 5 years, your travel facility expires. You will need to apply for and be granted either:
- A Resident Return visa - if you wish to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident
- Australian citizenship - if you wish to travel as an Australian citizen.
If you enter Australia on a temporary visa when the travel facility on your permanent visa has expired, this will have an adverse impact on you. See ‘Resident Return visa’ below for details.
If you are not eligible for either of the above and wish to return to Australia as a permanent resident, you may have to apply again for a permanent visa, such as a Former Resident visa, a family visa or a skilled visa.
Travel Facility Expiry Reminder (TFER) trial
The TFER trial service aims to remind certain permanent residents that the travel facility on their permanent visa is expiring in 90 days. The functionality is currently limited to visa holders of the following:
- Partner visa (100)
- Employer Nomination Scheme visa (856)
- Skilled sponsored visa (176)
- Partner visa (801)
These reminders are only sent via email to visa holders who do not have a pending RRV application and have their personal email addresses recorded in our system
Resident Return visa
If you wish to return to Australia as a permanent resident from any overseas travel, you may need to apply for and be granted a Resident Return visa (subclass 155 or subclass 157) if:
- the travel facility on your permanent visa has either already expired or will expire while you are outside Australia
- you are a former Australian permanent resident whose last permanent visa was not canceled
- you are a former Australian citizen who lost or renounced your citizenship.
If you intend to arrive in Australia without a valid visa, your entry will be denied (unless you are an Australian citizen).
Your permanent resident status will only be reinstated if your application for a Resident Return visa is granted. If your Resident Return visa application is refused, you may have to consider applying again for another permanent visa, such as a Former Resident visa, a family visa or a skilled visa. You will be provided with information regarding your eligibility for any merits review processes.
Any family members who are permanent residents traveling outside of Australia will need their own Resident Return visas.
Returning to Australia without a permanent visa that has a valid travel facility (for example, entering Australia on an ETA or visitor visa) may impact both your:
- entitlements as a permanent resident
- ability to satisfy the permanent residence requirements when applying for Australian citizenship or when applying for another Resident Return visa.
If you are in Australia as a permanent resident, you do not need to apply for a Resident Return visa if you do not wish to travel following the expiry of your permanent visa’s travel facility.
Visa options for Permanent Resident
People can become a permanent resident of Australia in different ways. Three common ways of becoming a permanent resident are through gaining:
- a family-stream permanent visa
- a work-stream permanent visa
- business or investor-stream permanent visa
Check that you meet our criteria before you apply. If your visa has a “no further stay” condition attached, you cannot stay in Australia beyond the period specified in your visa in order to apply for permanent residency.
To find a visa that suits your needs, explore visa options.
- Family-stream permanent residence visas
- Work-stream permanent residence visas
- Business or investment-stream permanent residence visas
- Other options
Family-stream permanent residence visas
These are for:
- partners, children, parents or dependent relatives of an Australian citizen, permanent resident of Australia or Eligible New Zealand citizen
- children being adopted or in the process of being adopted outside of Australia
- carers who need to move to Australia to provide long-term care for an approved relative
Work-stream permanent residence visas
These are for workers who have an Australian employer sponsoring them to work in Australia or have skills that Australia values.
Business or investment-stream permanent residence visas
Explore permanent visa options for business or investment.
Retirement visa pathway
The Australian Government has recently created a pathway to permanent residency for eligible retirees.
This pathway provides options to long-term residents who have contributed to, and are well-established in the community.
The government has built the pathway by setting aside a portion of places from the permanent migration scheme for parents.
Learn more about the Retirement visa pathway.
Former Resident visa
This visa is for certain permanent Former Residents.
Distinguished Talent visas
These visas are for people with an internationally-recognized record of exceptional and outstanding achievement.
- Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124)
- Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858)
Refugee and humanitarian visas
These visas are for people who left their home country due to persecution.