How to Apply for Australia Permanent Residency
Tristan and I decided to pursue a permanent resident visa in Australia last 2015 and we are very grateful to have been granted the visa. Inspired by this blessing, we hope that by sharing our experience, we could be of help to those people desiring the same thing: to live and work in Australia.
Applying for an Australia Permanent Resident visa (AU PR visa) is easy but of course it still requires effort. You have to take in all the information, pay attention to details and faithfully execute what is needed. The steps and requirements are easy to understand and to follow. You can opt to apply on your own (which we did and we recommend you to do so if you want to save some money) or seek the help of registered migrant agents.
Below is a guideline to help you kick start your application*. Orient yourself with the process, prepare all documents beforehand and budget for the estimated costs of the whole visa application.
*Note: The steps below apply for IT relevant occupations and for Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) . Information is as of June 2015.*
1. Identify the visa type you want to apply and the corresponding visa fees. Check which visa will suit your needs. Knowing the costs as early as possible will help you save for the money needed.
To give you an idea, this is the cost we incurred at the time of our application:
Visa Application Cost = $5337.02 AUD (for two people – primary applicant and the partner)
Skills Assessment = $500 AUD (per pax)
IELTS = $310 SGD (per pax)
Certified Copy of Documents = $5-$2 SGD (per document)
Philippines NBI Clearance = PhP140 (per pax)
Singapore Police Clearance = $55 SGD (per pax)
Medical Check Up = $148.73 SGD (per pax)
2. Identify the role that you want to be assessed for your skills. Occupation must be in the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) or Consolidated Occupation List (CSOL). Visit the Skilled Occupations Lists page to see if your occupation is on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) or Consolidated Occupation List (CSOL). If you are intending to apply for a Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa or Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa, you will need an occupation on the current SOL. For all state and territory nominated visa subclasses, Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visas and Temporary Work (subclass 457) visas you will need an occupation on the CSOL.
3. Check where you are at in the point system. Points are awarded on the basis of the factors. All factors are assessed as they are at the time you are invited to apply for this visa. Refer to Points Test tab in the link below.
4. Check Invitation Rounds to gauge the minimum required points for application. You need to get at least the minimum required points to apply for a visa. You may want to target to have points higher than the minimum requirement to have greater chances of visa approval. Refer Invitation Rounds tab in the link below.
5. If applying with a partner or family, familiarize yourself with the requirements for partner/family migration. You and your partner can obtain the required documents in parallel to save time during the whole application process. If you are the primary applicant, check how you will be credited for partner skills (refer to Step 3). Read through the fact sheets available in the link below.
6. Have your skills assessed by an assessing authority. For IT relevant occupations, the assessing authority is the Australian Computer Society.
a) Check required documents for skills assessment. Refer to Information for Applicants > Application Check List
b) Identify ANZSCO Code. Refer to Information for Applicants > ANZSCO Code Information
c) Create and obtain employment references. You have to draft the letter specifying the information you require for skills assessment and submit that to your employer for approval/acknowledgment. Follow the required format and provide all information needed for employment reference.
Employment references must contain:
- Start & Finish Dates of Employment – if currently employed, your “finish” date can be written as the “To Date”, but the job reference must have the date when it was written or it will be assessed as not suitable.
- Description of Duties Performed – required to determine the relevance to the nominated occupation
- Hours worked – Full time or Part time
- Country where Employment was Completed – if you have worked with the same company in different countries, the job reference must have the dates and locations clearly specified.
- Company Letterhead and signed by the author
d) Obtain personal documents (all should be in English translation)
– Passport (expiry date should be beyond the timeline set for visa application)
– Birth Certificate
– Diploma and/or Certificate of Graduation
– Transcript of Records
e) Have all your documents certified (certified true copy) by a lawyer. There are guidelines in having your documents certified true copy. Ensure that your lawyer is aware of the guidelines for Australia.
f) Submit required documents for skills assessment (submit certified copies of documents). Refer to Information for Applicants > How to Upload Additional Documents
7. Check where you are at in the point system. How many points you still need as per the point system check will dictate what band you need to target for IELTS. The results of the exam will pull up your points.
8. Take the IELTS. Study for IELTS and schedule exam. In order to have points credited as per the point system, you need to get at least a band 7 in each test component. IELTS can be taken with IDP or British Council. We took our IELTS exam with IDP. The secret to a high IELTS score is practice, practice, practice! Study by taking practice exams within test time limits.
9. Check Occupation Ceiling before lodging to assess remaining slots for EOI. This will guide you if you can proceed with your application this year or wait for the next fiscal year. Moreover, this will manage your expectations on processing time and results. Refer to Occupation Ceilings tab in the link below.
10. Submit Expression of Interest (EOI).
11. Receive an invitation from SkillSelect and lodge your visa application and pay the visa fee. You will be instructed to create an ImmiAccount to formally lodge your visa application. Upload certified true copies of your documents.
12. Wait for a case officer to be assigned by the Immigration Office. You will be notified via email once a case officer is assigned to your visa application.
13. Obtain NBI clearance and police clearance (if possible to obtain early). Else, wait for the case officer to instruct you to obtain these additional documents. For Singapore based applicants, the case office will provide a letter that you need to submit to Singapore Police Force in order to be able to get a Certificate of Clearance.
14. Perform Medical Health Check at accredited clinics as instructed by case officer. Wait for the case officer to instruct you to have a medical check-up.
15. Submit all additional documents requested by case officer. Upload these documents in your ImmiAccount.
– NBI Clearance
– Police Clearance
– Results of medical check up is forwarded directly by the clinic to the Immigration Office.
16. Wait for a decision.
17. Receive your visa grant letter! ?
I would glad to be of help. If you have further questions or you are unclear about any of the steps stated above, feel free to email me at lorenmiranda.au@