Applying for permanent residency in Australia is a fairly extensive process that takes effort and patience to go through, but can let you permanently reside in the Land Down Under after having lived and worked there for a good while.
There are different pathways to earning permanent residence in Australia, each with their own challenges and requirements. Planning ahead is crucial in making sure you don’t end up disappointed when you later realize you may not have taken an important detail into account, which would most likely lead you to not being granted permanent residency.
Applying for a Permanent Visa
You can apply for a permanent visa after you’ve either lived for two years in a Specified Regional Area and worked (including being self-employed) for a year in that area or obtained sponsorship under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
There’s the Skilled – Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887), which is specifically designed for holders of a provisional skilled visa applying for permanent residency. Also, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 857) happens to have fewer requirements involved if you hold a Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclasses 475 and 487) or a Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 495).
Before applying for any kind of visa, make sure you’re clear with your “purpose of visit”. If there’s ever a reason why there are people who get deported and blacklisted from foreign countries, it’s because the government would find out they haven’t been honest with why they went to that country in the first place.
You are assisted by the Australian Embassy throughout the visa application process, but the choice of a visa category is all dependent on your honesty and diligence.
More information can be found on the Australian Embassy website. You may also contact the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) Helpline on weekdays from 9AM to 5PM.
How to Apply for Visa
Upon deciding which visa category you wish to apply for, procure the corresponding visa application form and checklist. Print out a copy of the checklist, complete it, make sure it’s signed by the visa applicant, and include that on your application. If that’s missing, your application may encounter processing delays. You must include your photograph with the completed visa application form as well.
Assemble supporting documentation that may be required during application. All of them should be submitted along with the rest of the application to avoid processing delays.
Make payments of visa fees in form of Manager’s Cheque payable to the Australian Embassy. Other forms of payment or other payees will not be accepted. The Manager’s Cheque can be drawn from any Philippine bank, excluding Rural Banks, and the amount should be in Philippine Peso (PHP).
Online appointment for application submission is mandatory, so you must schedule an Appointment to visit the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) and submit your application and your biometrics. Submit the completed Visa Application form with all appropriate supporting documents either in-person or via a representative through the AVAC weekdays, from 7AM to 2PM, excluding public holidays.
You can also send your application by courier, either Two-Way or One-Way Courier Pick-up. For more details, you may contact the AVAC Call Centre at (02)7904900 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the security regulation notices carefully, submit your application, and regularly track your application.
Get your Visa Letter either in-person from the AVAC, wait for courier delivery, or check your email, whichever method you choose during application.
Recent Change in Regulations and Visas
On April 18, 2017, the Australian Government announced that the 457 visa, also known as Temporary Work (Skilled) visa, was to be abolished. The new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa was then set to take effect in March 2018, which would change a lot of things for overseas worker looking to be employed in Australia.
According to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the TSS visa will consist of a Short-Term stream of up to 2 years and a Medium-Term stream of up to 4 years. Meanwhile, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has also shortened the list of eligible occupations for the general skilled migration, meaning that fewer jobs are now eligible for the TSS visa.
Meanwhile, you can also aim for the Skilled-Independent visa (subclass 189), which is a permanent residence visa for points-tested skilled workers in Australia. Take note that the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) used to let applicants nominate eligible occupations to apply for Skilled Independent visa.
With the SOL now replaced by the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), applicants are now required to nominate an occupation from a new updated (and truncated) list.
Additional Note for Visa Applicants
A valid application is done by lodging a completed and signed application form for the right visa class and with payment of the corresponding visa application charge. If the applicant is below 18 years of age, the application must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
Remember to have all supporting documents and information submitted along with the completed application form. If there are any documents that are not in English, they must be submitted with a certified translation.
Make sure to read these tips and double check everything to avoid processing delays. Making a checklist for yourself may help avoid skipping over certain details.