Teddington Blog

The Path to Permanent Residency in Australia

Generally, it is a good idea to become somewhat familiar with the country before starting the pursuit of permanent residency.

For that there are a couple of visa options to get you out and about in Australia.

Tourist Visa

Australia is a great place to visit, whether you are staying for a holiday, to see friends or relatives, or to work or study for a short time. Regardless of how long you intend to stay, you mustid= have a valid Australian visa.

Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601)

The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) was introduced to replace the complicated visa application process previously in place for Australian tourist visas. The Australian holiday visa is a multiple entry visa and entitles you to stay up to 3 months on each visit within the 12 months from when your visa is granted.


Conditions for ETA
• You do not have employment rights in Australia
• Business visitor activities are not restricted meaning you can handle business enquiries, negotiations, attend conferences, etc.
• You are allowed to study for the period of your visa validity
• You must be free of tuberculosis
• You must not have any criminal convictions for which you have been sentenced for a total combined period of 12 months or more


Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday Visa in Australia is a temporary visa ideally suited for young people who want to travel, work and study in Australia for a year.

It will cost roughly $440 (AUD) to apply and will grant you permission to stay in Australia for twelve months.

Still there are some regulations regarding your work and study during your time here.

You are allowed to do any work having all the rights concerning pay, conditions and workplace entitlements by the Fair Work Act 2009.

However, you are limited to a maximum of 6 months at one employer unless you have been given permission by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

You are also limited to a maximum of four months of study during your time here.

It’s a great option for exploring the country as you can find employment and support the trip while you’re in Australia however it is not a long-term solution as it doesn’t really lead into any permanent residency visa options.

The Working Holiday Visa Subclass 417 is also not open to all the nationalities.

That doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t other options for coming Down Under such as the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) and the Student Visa (Subclass 500).

There are some additional requirements for the Working Holiday Visa, these include:

– You must be between 18 and 31
– You cannot be accompanied by dependent children
– You must apply from outside Australia and you must remain there until your visa is granted
– You must be able to prove you have enough funds to sustain yourself and to purchase a ticket to depart Australia
– You must be of a level of Health that satisfies the departments requirements

Application Process

First you will have to prepare the appropriate documentation to support your visa application.

This could include personal identification, evidence of enough funds and evidence of employment. There may also be additional documents that could support your application that should come about from consulting an immigration lawyer.

Next you will have to submit your application via an online form, post or in person at an Australian embassy.

You will then soon receive confirmation that your documents and application have been received by the department.

You should then be able to track the application, being updated as it reaches each stage of the process.

Working Holiday Visas usually have a short turnaround and you can expect a result after around 6 business days if it is your first Working Holiday Visa application.

You may be asked to provide more details to clarify your application so that a decision can be made.

You should be notifying the department if there are any factors that turn up during the process that might affect the application. This could include a change of address, death, illness or change in relationship status.
You can review your decision and you may appeal if it doesn’t fall in your favor. I would suggest at this point reaching out to an immigration lawyer if you haven’t already to help smooth the appeal process and improve your chances of success.


Making "What If" Possible


Student Visa (Subclass 500)

The student visa offers a strong, semi-reliable progression toward permanent residency within Australia.

It grants the owner up to 5 years of residency within Australia that can be used to both study and work to support yourself.

Work however is heavily restricted under this Visa so it cannot be used a substitute for a work visa.

You can bring family members with you if they pass the visa application phase as well.


To be eligible for a Student Visa, you must have received a confirmation of enrolment from a full-time course at an institute registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions.

A letter of offer is not enough for a successful visa application.

If you are under 18 you are also required to prove you will have welfare support while you are in Australia.

If you are sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Defence, a secondary exchange student or a postgraduate research student you don’t need to provide a Confirmation of Enrolment, a letter should suffice.

You must meet a minimum English ability.

You may need to prove you have the financial capacity for your time in Australia, this would include either
– Proof of funds for 12 months of living expenses, course fees and travel costs to and from Australia
– Evidence of the annual income requirement

So, what do you get for all that effort?

Well for the estimated $575 for the application, alongside the documentation, you can be eligible for up to 5 years in Australia while both studying and working.

While you can study full-time, you may only work a maximum of 40 hours over any 2-week period while your course is in session.

When your course is out of session however you may work for any number of hours so long as you are paying taxes under an Australian Tax Number.

Your Visa can also carry over into your next course if they are in related and relevant fields. That way you can stack your courses to reach up to the 5-year visa maximum.

Following on from your degree you may also apply to extend your visa to allow you to:

– Graduate
– Conduct further study
– Go on holiday
– Work within Australia
– Migrate

Thus, it places you with a period of work beyond your course where you can establish yourself within the Australian workforce, potentially finding a sponsor for your permanent residency.

Permanent Residency

An Australian permanent resident is the name given to a non-citizen who is the holder of a permanent visa.

A permanent resident can live, work and study without restriction in Australia.

A permanent resident has most of the rights and entitlements of a citizen, however they do not have the automatic right of re-entry into Australia if they travel internationally and they cannot vote in Australian government elections.

Since there are many different types of Visas, your first step will be to identify which Visa is the best option for you.

Partner Visa (Subclasses 820 and 801)

The partner Visa is the family-based type of permanent residential visa. If you have family in Australia, you may be eligible for Australian permanent residency.

Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)

The Subclass 186 visa requires you to be a qualified skilled worker nominated by an approved Australian employer.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187)

The Subclass 187 visa requires you to be nominated by an approved Australian employer for a job in regional Australia. Regional Australia includes everything but the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong or Melbourne.

Business Innovation & Investment Visa (Subclass 188)

The Business Innovation and Investment provisional Visa allows you to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to invest in Australia. You must be nominated by a state or territory government or Australian agency to be eligible to apply.

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) / Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

Foreign-national skilled workers who hold occupations on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List may be eligible for a Subclass 189 or 190 visa. This visa requires the applicant to complete a skills test and be nominated by a state or territory government. In addition to this in Visa 189 you can also be sponsored by an employer or family member.

Business Talent Visa (Subclass 132)

Establish a new business or expand your existing business in Australia with the Subclass 132 visa. This visa requires the applicant to have a minimum net business, personal assets and annual business turnover, or a minimum in venture capital funding. You must also be nominated to apply by an Australian state or territory government agency.

Once you have figured out which is the right option for you and are aware of the eligibility requirements you can apply for it on the Department of Home Affairs Website.


Making "What If" Possible



Australia is somewhat of a challenge to attain a visa to, especially if you are seeking the right to work within our shores. Fortunately, there are a large swath of options available for entering the country if you understand the system and have the relevant skills. My usual suggestion for someone with the eventual goal of permanent residency is the Student Visa as it allows them time in the country, work to support themselves and the potential to network to find a long-term sponsor. For more experienced individuals there are options available to go straight for the permanent residency visa. These are more difficult though, so I would suggest contacting an immigration professional.

If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email at info@tt.legal or give me a call at +61 2 8096 8143

3 Responses

  1. Can a non protected New Zealand Citizen living in Australia sponsor a Citizen of the Philippines for 3-12 month Tourist Visa.?

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Robert,

      1. The tourist visa has 4 streams. To your circumstance, ie sponsored tourist visa, requires the sponsorship of an Australian citizen, either a Permanent resident or a protected Special Category visa (SCV) holder of Australia. As a non-protected New Zealand citizen you would not not eligible to sponsor others for any visa to Australia that requires a sponsorship.
      2. On the other hand, anyone can apply a tourist visa under tourist stream that does not require a sponsorship.

      If you are simply seeking a tourist visa, this would not require assistance from a lawyer, however if your need runs beyond the tourist visa we would be happy to assist.


  2. Hi there,

    I am a non-protected NZ citizen holding SCV visa here in Australia. Is it possible for me to add someone onto my visa such as a family member from another country or a defacto partner with slovakian passport?

    I am aware a holder of a student visa here in Australia can do that.

    Thank you

Leave a Reply