How To Transform your Student Visa into Permanent Residency in Australia

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If you’re approaching the end of your studies in Australia, it’s about time you start considering applying for your permanent residency. The transition from a student to a permanent resident is definitely not smooth, owing to a number of tight rules that the government has introduced.

There are a number of factors that you should be considering as soon as you enter your last semester.

Language Requirements

English is a key requirement in your first step towards obtaining a permanent residency. Unless you hold a passport from the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland or New Zealand, you will be required to complete an English proficiency test.

The IELTS and TOEFL English tests are now accepted by all immigration authorities and score of 6 on the IELTS test has become a minimum.

Your options

The best route to take would be to apply for a Temporary Graduate 485 visa. This visa is probably the easiest and the most straightforward route towards getting your permanent residency.

You need to meet a minimum study requirement in Australia, which is 96 weeks or 2 years. Despite the fact that this is not a permanent visa, these 18 months can be instrumental in helping you complete the skill assessment process in addition to giving you an opportunity to gain some work experience which can be the deciding factor in your permanent residency application.

Skill assessment is different for different occupations, and because a positive skills assessment goes a long way in boosting your case for a permanent residency, its best to weigh your options and get started immediately. This can take 3 months or more so the sooner you take some advice from your agent and get started, the better.

What can I do to strengthen my application

The best way to strengthen your application is to get some professional experience. Needless to say, work experience has a lot of weightage in your application, there are several ways you can increase this.

  • If you have studied in a regional area then consider finding employment there, if you hold a job for 12 months then you can be eligible for a different kind of visa which is called   the Skilled Regional Visa ( Subclass 887)
  • You could also complete a professional year, this is a program, combining formal education and work experience. This program runs for 12 months and adds 5 extra points to your application which could what it comes down to in the end.
  • Age has a big role to play in your application as well, if you are completing your bachelors studies then you have a significant advantage because your age most likely lies between 25 and 32, this helps you get a total of 30 points.
  • You could also apply for a state nomination. This step, however, is quite tricky because state nominations are given very rarely and are quite difficult to obtain, however if you’re lucky enough to get one then it gives a significant edge to you over other applicants for the permanent residency.


To be successful in applying for permanent residency, the key is to plan ahead. Getting a registered migration agent also helps as they have negated these waters many times before and know what to do.

(Article by Migration Alliance)

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