Options to permanent residency after studying in Australia

Some students come to Australia and they like living here so much that they decide to live here and apply for Permanent Residence Visa after completion of their studies.

When choosing a course it is always important to think about it’s prospects and chances of getting a permanent visa. A start could be to look at our occupation lists and seeing which list(s) and visas you fall under. Please note that although your occupation might be on the list TODAY it could be removed by the time you are eligible for a PR visa or another temporary visa which makes you a step closer to getting a PR.

Please note there are many other factors apart from the course you choose such as:

  • Age
  • English language ability
  • Qualifications
  • Employment experience
  • Partner’s skills.

Pathways to Australian Permanent Residence

Every year tens of thousands of students from across the globe choose Australia as their destination for further study. Whilst many return to their country of origin at the completion of their study others decide that they would like to continue to live in Australia. But before being able to call Australia home each student must successfully apply for permanent residence.

There are a number of pathways available to international students. Which one is right for you will be determined by a number of factors such as the qualification you have obtained, your English language ability, employment history and various other requirements. The three most common visa options or pathways are discussed below.

Post Study Work Visa

At the completion of study many applicants find that they are not immediately eligible for permanent residence. This may be because they don’t have enough points for skilled migration, or they don’t have an employer or state government to sponsor them. Many applicants in this situation find that the Post Study Work Visa (subclass 485) is a suitable visa following their studies.

The Post Study Work Visa is normally a two year visa which has unrestricted work rights. It is available to applicants who have completed two years of full time study in Australia for the award of certain qualifications (normally a Bachelor degree or higher, but in some cases applicants who have completed a trade qualification may be eligible for the Graduate Stream of the subclass 485 visa).

The Post Study Work Visa is often used to help meet the requirements for a permanent visa. This could be by completing Australian work experience for example, or by using the time to achieve higher English language scores for additional points for skilled migration.

General Skilled Migration

Skilled migration is a program of permanent visas based on your skills and work experience which does not require an employer to sponsor you. There are a number of requirements which must be satisfied such as skill and English language requirements as well as a points test.

Points for skilled migration are based on factors such as your age, English ability, employment and study history. In some cases you must obtain state government nomination to meet the requirements or to add points to your application.

Employer Sponsored Visas

An alternate visa pathway could be via employer sponsored visas. Sometimes where an applicant cannot meet skilled migration requirements the next best option is employer sponsorship because the requirements are different to skilled migration, and sometimes easier to meet.

The employer sponsored pathway often involves a process of obtaining a temporary visa initially (subclass 482), then working towards a permanent visa after having worked in Australia for at least 3 years for your sponsoring employer. This is not always required – in some cases you could apply directly for permanent residence (186 visa), but often the employer prefers the TSS 482 visa transitional pathway.

Which Option

Each visa option and pathway has advantages and disadvantages. There are a lot of factors to consider before determining which one will work best for you. It is also worth remembering that Australian visa regulations change frequently. To ensure that you have the best chance at securing a permanent visa it is highly recommended that you use the services of My Visa Guide’s experienced, professional registered migration advisors.

As a registered migration agency we see many students who have unfortunately gone down the wrong path due to unprofessional advice from education institutes or just friends. It is important to decide:

  1. your desired course,
  2. making sure you meet the GTE requirements
  3.  your desired university or college, and/or
  4. the city/region you want to do your studies

The 2nd point is specially important if you are applying for a student visa from overseas and could potentially increase or decrease your chances of even getting a student visa. The 3rd point is important where a state could have your occupation on their state sponsored list and you could potentially apply for a permanent visa if you get a invitation from them.

After studying a Trade, Vocational or University course you could increase your chances of getting a Graduate 485 , 457, 186 ENS, 187 RSMS, State Sponsored 190 or a  Skilled Independent 189 Visa depending on the course you choose and the time when you are applying.