Expat Life

The road to residency part 8: permanent residency

On Saturday, 1st April – April Fools’Day – I received an email from my migrant agent with the news. I am a permanent residency. The PDF from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection was attached.

It took three years. I applied for the temporary residency visa in April 2014. Two years later, in April 2016, I became eligible to apply for permanent residency. It took 12 months to process.

Here’s an interesting statement in the paperwork:

You have been granted a permanent visa which allows you to remain in Australia indefinitely. This visa allows you to travel to and enter Australia as many times as you want until 01 April 2022. If you wish to travel to Australia after this expiry date, you will need to apply for, and be granted a Resident Return Visa (RRV).

The visa doesn’t expire, but the ability to travel in and out of Australia does. To get around this, you have to become a citizen or apply for an RRV, which costs $360 and is valid for five years.

What about citizenship? You are eligible to become a citizen after living in Australia for four years as a legal resident and one as a permanent resident. I become eligible to apply for citizenship in March. But this may change to where you’d have to be a permanent resident for four years. Then I wouldn’t be eligible until 2021.

The proposed changes to visa and citizenship processes are getting a lot of news and social media attention, but this is not a done deal. Parliament has to pass this and there’s no indication of when these laws will be presented to Parliament for debate. We’ll have to wait and see. But for now, I’ll pop a bottle a bubbly.