How Indians Can Attain Australian Permanent Residency

Australian permanent residency (PR) allows foreign nationals to pursue a robust career in a globally competitive market, explore diverse job opportunities, earn high average salaries, strike an ideal work-life balance, and thrive amidst stable economic growth. For these reasons and more, Australia is a top destination for expats. The Department of Home Affairs is the federal authority responsible for processing immigration applications and granting approved visas.

Benefits of the Australia PR Visa

  • Permanently live and work in Australia with family
  • Subsidized education
  • Publicly-funded healthcare
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for immigration to Australia
  • Freely travel to and from Australia for the first five years
  • Eventually apply for citizenship
  • Children born in Australia are citizens by birth
  • Work anywhere across the country (Subclass 190 and 491 applicants must commit to residing in the nominating state/territory/regional area for at least two years after arrival)
  • High credit ratings and loan grants for first home owners

Guidelines for Immigration

Three of the most common visa pathways for directly attaining permanent residence as a skilled worker, known as the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas, are:

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) allows foreign skilled workers to permanently live and work in Australia.

Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) allows foreign skilled workers who are nominated by the governing agency of an Australian state/territory to permanently live and work in the country. The immigrant is obligated to live in the nominating state/territory for at least two years after arrival.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa allows foreign skilled workers who are nominated by the governing agency of an Australian state/territory or sponsored by an eligible relative living in Australia – to live in a designated regional area of Australia for up to four years. After completing three years in the regional area, they can apply for PR – subject to eligibility.

Each of these pathways uses a point-based system to determine eligibility, which can seem complex to applicants. The overwhelming amount of information available online makes it challenging to navigate the eligibility requirements and application procedures. In this context, it is in one’s best interest to seek the guidance of authentic Australia immigration consultants.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates need to fulfil parameters related to their age, education, occupation, skilled work experience, and English language skills. The exact requirement varies depending on the visa stream. However, one of the most prominent features of the evaluation process is the Australia immigration points calculator, which allocates points to each candidate under the three visas mentioned.

Points are assigned based on several selection factors including age, English proficiency, academic qualifications, work experience, adaptability, qualifications of an accompanying spouse/de-facto partner, single status, state nomination/sponsorship (if applicable), etc.

In order to be considered as a candidate for these visas, an aspirant must score at least 65 points based on the relevant criteria – in addition to fulfilling the other parameters for eligibility.

Application Process

The process to migrate to Australia from India is fairly similar under all three GSM visas.

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirements and lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the desired visa online via SkillSelect – DHA’s online eligibility assessment platform. This EOI remains valid for two years.

Step 2: Each candidate is allocated a point score. At this stage, Subclass 190 and 491 applicants must also apply for and obtain a nomination from the state/territory where they wish to live.

Note: The eligibility criteria for nomination differs from one state/territory to another. Nomination adds points to the total score, which is why these visas are popular among those who cannot secure sufficient points for the Subclass 189 visa.

Step 3: Through regular invitation rounds, the highest-scoring candidates who meet the point cut-off – which changes with each round – receive invitations to apply for the desired visa.

Step 4: Within 60 days of receiving the invitation, candidates must submit a complete visa application to the DHA – including supporting documents and Australia PR visa fees (AUD 4,045 for the primary applicant).

Processing Time

The processing time depends on the applicant’s point score and the DHA’s processing capacity. As of 1st July 2020, the Australia PR processing time for GSM visas as follows:

  • Subclass 189: 9 to 14 months
  • Subclass 190: 5 to 6 months
  • Subclass 491: Unavailable


What is PR visa fee?

The fee for the primary applicant is AUD 4,045. For each dependent spouse/partner/child included in the application, an additional cost applies.

What is a Skills Assessment?

To compare an applicant’s work experience and education gained outside Australia to Australian standards, authorized assessing bodies conduct a skills assessment – which determines how foreign qualifications would translate in the Australian job market.

How many points are needed to file an EOI?

Most candidates need at least 65 points to submit an EOI. However, those belonging to certain pro-rata occupations may need to meet a higher requirement. It is important to note that the point cut-off for receiving an invitation to apply is different from this 65 points requirement.

How long does the EOI remain valid?

The EOI is valid for up to two years from the day it was created. After this period ends, candidates who did not receive an invitation to apply can submit a new EOI.

Can an EOI scoring 65 points be filed, without gaining any points in the language exam?


How long is the Invitation to Apply valid for?

The ITA for Australian permanent residency remains valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

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