How Do I Qualify for Australian Permanent Residence?

People around the world see Australia for the great country that it is. The high standard of living, the lifestyle, education and career opportunities are just some of the things that make Australia a highly sought-after destination for migrants.

While many people are happy to visit Australia on a temporary visa whether for work, holiday or study, there are many people overseas that wish to make Australia their home permanently. In the 2022/23 migration year, the Australian Government increased the permanent migration intake to 195,000 places. This increase not only addresses skills and labour shortages experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic but also gives many more migrants the opportunity to make Australia their permanent home.

In order to become a permanent resident, applicants will generally need to satisfy specific eligibility criteria, depending on the permanent visa being applied for. To begin the process, applicants are required to apply for and then be granted a permanent visa. The visa categories with a pathway to permanent residence include:

  • The family visa
  • The skilled work visa
  • The business or investor visa

Each visa class and subclass have their own requirements that need to be met for an applicant to be eligible.

What is Permanent Residence?

Permanent residence allows permanent visa holders to live, work and study in Australia indefinitely. Once someone has held permanent residence for four years, they may apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.

There are many benefits to being a permanent Australian resident. Permanent residents can:

  • Work and study in Australia
  • Enrol in Medicare
  • Apply for bank loans to buy property
  • Travel to and from Australia as long as the travel facility of their visa remains valid
  • Attend free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program
  • Work in New Zealand
  • Apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible

While each visa class and subclass have their own specific eligibility criteria, all visa applicants must:

  • Meet health requirements
  • Meet character requirements
  • Meet all visa conditions and obey Australian laws.


Processing time for Permanent Visas

Processing times for permanent visas vary depending on the visa class and subclass applied for. As of July 2023, the median processing time for permanent visas was seven months. This timeframe can vary depending on the number of applications the Department of Home Affairs receives at any given time or if the visa case is more complex.

The following factors can impact processing times.

  • Missing supporting documentation
  • Whether the application has been submitted online or using a paper application
  • How quickly you respond to requests for more information
  • How long it takes the Department of Home Affairs to perform the required checks
  • How long it takes to receive information from external agencies, in particular those that relate to health, character and national security
  • How many places are available in the migration program for permanent visa applications


The visa application process can be complex, so it is recommended that you engage the services of a registered migration agent. They will ensure that your visa application is complete, that you have included all the required supporting documentation and follow-up on any issues that may arise in relation to your visa application. As a full-service migration agency, Visa Solutions Australia’s team of registered migration agents has the expertise to assist clients with their permanent visa application.

If you would like expert advice on applying for permanent residence in Australia or any other aspect of migration, contact Visa Solutions Australia. Book a consultation.