In Australia, Permanent Residency is the legal status of a non-citizen who holds a permanent visa and is therefore allowed to live, work and study in Australia indefinitely. A permanent visa is the visa most potential immigrants endeavour to receive.
Before you begin the immigration process, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of Permanent Residency. A Permanent Resident has mostly the same rights as a citizen; however there are some notable differences:
- Permanent Residents do not have the right to vote in federal or State/Territory elections.
- Permanent Residents do not have the right to Government Student Loans (HECS/Fee-Help).
- Permanent Residents do not have the right to serve in the Australian Defence Force and work for the Government (exceptions may be made for positions that cannot be filled by an applicant who meets citizenship requirements).
- Permanent Residency is not unconditional and requires a permanent visa holder to live in Australia for it to be valid.
Other than the above points, Permanent Residents have equal rights to Australian Citizens, which means Permanent Residency should be the end goal of your Immigration regardless of the visa type you apply for. A Permanent Resident who has been living in Australia for a minimum of four years has the right to apply for Australian Citizenship.