Pathways to Permanent Residency in Australia

There’s no debate that gaining permanent residency in Australia heralds a number of benefits for British migrants. As well as free medical care, access to a first home owner’s grant (up to $20,000 in some states), subsidised childcare and free public schooling, you’re on the journey to citizenship. Many migrants initially qualify to enter Australia on a temporary or provisional visa, but with several pathways to permanent residency, they are taking a big step in the right direction. Joy Orosz, Director of True Blue Migration outlines the four typical pathways to permanent residency in Australia.


General skilled visa
Qualifying for a general skilled visa is based on a point score. This score takes into account your age, qualifications, current job, English skills, spouse skills, work or study undertaken in Australia and in some cases, sponsorship by an eligible relative or a state that needs your job. Most British migrants have an idea of where they want to live Down Under – unfortunately, they are not always eligible for this area – in the beginning. If you are eligible for a 475 provisional visa (sponsored by a state or relative), it’s best to view this as a stepping stone. The 475 is a three year visa, but after you have lived in the sponsoring state for two years (and worked for 12 months), you can apply for permanent residency, which only takes a couple of months. Given the three year window, this visa gives you plenty of time to travel and enjoy Australia. Once you have permanent residency, you and your dependents can live and work anywhere in the country. You might be surprised by how many Brits end up loving the state they start in, and not moving at all.

457 employer sponsored visa
The 457 employer sponsored visa allows Australian employers to sponsor skilled migrants in their business. The employer must obtain approval to sponsor, the role you will fill must be on a gazetted list, and your work experience and/or qualifications must match this nominated role. A 457 visa is temporary and typically issued within a few weeks. After you have worked for your sponsoring employer for two years, they can sponsor you again, this time on the Employer Nomination Scheme (856/119), which offers permanent residency. On some occasions, you can be immediately sponsored as a permanent resident on this 856/119 visa. In this case, you must pass a skill assessment (the same as that required in the general skilled migration program), an English test and other requirements. Alternatively, if you are sponsored by a business in a designated regional area, you may be eligible for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), also a permanent residency visa.

Business owner visa
If you are under 55, own and manage your own business, have a turnover of AUD$300,000 and can transfer AUD$250,000 to Australia within two years, you may be eligible for a business owner visa. You may need to be sponsored by a state of Australia. This is initially a four year provisional visa, but provided you set up (or purchase) a business within the four years, reach a turnover of AUD$200,000 (in the 12 months prior to applying for permanent residency, so have some time to get your business off the ground), have AUD$250,000 of assets, and employ at least one full time (or equivalent part time) Australian citizen or permanent resident, you and your dependents will be granted permanent residency. You do not need to hold specific qualifications to obtain a business owner visa. There is a similar pathway for Senior Executives who work in very large companies. Ask a registered agent to assess you.

Student visa
International students who undertake a recognised course of study of at least two years full time in Australia may be eligible for permanent residency on completion. Acceptable courses include trades and degrees. Students are able to work 20 hours per week during school term, and full time during the semester leave periods. If you are migrating with a partner, he or she is also only eligible to work for 20 hours per week, unless you are studying a particular Masters program. International students are subject to fees, so you need to look around to find the course that is best suited to you and your budget. To increase your chance of eligibility for residency, you need to study in an area that is in high demand in Australia. If you do not immediately qualify for a permanent residency application, you can apply for an 18 months skilled (graduate) visa that gives you sufficient time to undertake paid work in your area of study, adding to your migration point score. This is a non-extendable visa that allows you to stay in Australia. A migration agent will be able to assist you in this regard.
The current global financial environment has impacted on most countries. Australia is no exception, but it is weathering the conditions well, with the demand for skilled migrants still high. And with its every-appealing lifestyle and climate, Australia is still a strong magnet for many Brits.



True Blue Migration
is a registered migration agent with a “No visa – No fee” guarantee. We manage the visa process for skilled, sponsored, business, family and student applications. We’ve helped British trades people, accountants, nurses, engineers, teachers, IT professionals and others through the complex migration journey. We make the process stress-free and straight-forward by interpreting the policies, simplifying the steps and avoiding the common pitfalls. For a free online visa assessment, go to or phone us on +61 8 6461 6051.