You don’t need to be sold on the advantages of obtaining an Australian permanent resident status. Clearly, the benefits afforded by such residency status opens many doors in Australian society. With few limitations on employment, the permanent resident has access most to job postings with the exception of government positions that generally require full citizenship. Additionally, permanent residency affords access to education, medical, and social security benefits, while serving as the springboard for applying for full Australian citizenship.
Paths to Permanent Residency:
The paths to permanent residency can be as varied as the number of applicants seeking the status. In an effort to draw in the talent and skill required by the Australian economy, and designed to target specific regional areas of the continent, the Australian government offers the “General Skilled Migration Program,” as a major path to the coveted status. For instance, for 2013-2013, the government has made available 129,250 visas in this category. Categories of employment that are deemed particularly valuable are much sought after. For example, doctors and nurses are in extremely short supply continent wide. Prior to submitting your permanent residency application you must have lived for two years, and worked for one year, in a Specified Regional Area of Australia.
In an effort to direct talented resources to those areas of Australia most in need of those skills, the Australian government works with state and local governments to provide regional migration that is designed to alleviate the special economic circumstances of rural and regional Australia. This category covers the whole of Australia with the exception of Brisbane, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne, and Sydney. The typical applicant for this program will generally be under 50 years old, have a mastery of the English language, and possess the requisite qualifications and resume.
For those immigrants seeking humanitarian entry, on the grounds of being refugees, the Australian government has assigned 13,750 visa slots for them during the same time frame. Additionally, an unlimited number of entry visas are granted for the partners and dependents of permanent residents however, these entries are subject to a practice known as “capping.” At the present time there are only 1000 open spots thus ensuring a long waiting period for this opportunity. Indeed, the applicant can find themselves waiting a couple of decades before their application is considered.
Having Character Doesn’t Mean Having GOOD Character:
As part of the application process, the supplicant will be required to submit evidence of their good character in the form of “police certificates” from each country lived in for at least a year over the past decade. The government will generally refuse the application if it is found that the applicant:
· Has a substantial criminal background.
· Has been convicted of any crimes associated with immigrant detention.
· Has, or has had any association with criminal groups or enterprises.
· Likely to engage in criminal activity that would be detrimental to Australians.
The Ministry of Immigration has discretionary powers in these investigations. Should an applicant be denied by the minister directly they have no recourse in the matter. If they have been denied by a representative of the ministry however, they are eligible to lodge an appeal.