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Feb 15 2017

PR in Australia

Many students studying in Australia often enjoy the pleasure of getting a permanent residency after they have graduated. Most foreign students take up a temporary work VISA which allows them to work for a limited period of time.

The temporary work VISA acts as a beginners guide to being a step closer to getting PR. The right education and occupation is required for getting the permanent residency. Considering the expenses on Australian education being very expensive for students who are not citizens of the country it could be difficult for them to live and study but universities in Australia do provide schemes for students as well as opportunities to build a lifestyle and a career while they are studying.

Tips for foreign students studying in Australia looking to get permanent residency!

  • You need to meet the Australian study requirement. Which suggests that you must obtain at least a sustainable Australian qualification as a result of two years of study.
  • A minimum age requirement must be obtained 18 to 49.
  • Work experience could get you extra credit however it is important to meet certain requirements in terms of skill level.
  • Further study such as a bachelor’s degree in Australia by doing an honor’s year or master’s degree.
  • IELTS test of English language must be obtained. Unless you get 6 in all 4 components of IELTS.
  • Keep up to date with the constant change of rules and the department of immigration.

The Australian Study Requirement!

  • This suggests that a student should have at least two years of academic experience.
  • A student must have at least more than one qualification of two years.

Two academic years study is defined as 92 weeks of registered study.

It is a measure of the amount of study you have completed rather than how long it took you to complete the study. The requirement that you complete two academic years does not mean that you need to study full-time to meet the Australian study requirement.

You can take longer to complete those requirements if you choose to. That is, if you take 92 weeks to complete a course registered with CRICOS (Commonwealth register of institutions and courses for overseas students) for only 78 weeks, that course will still only count for 78 weeks towards meeting the Australian study requirement.

A student cannot fail cannot fail a single subject twice.

If you are given credit for prior learning it will reduce the amount of study you have completed. In such a situation the exempted units cannot be counted towards meeting the study requirement if they are already being used towards meeting another course standard.

The credit will be granted on the basis of study undertaken either overseas or within Australian in a non-CRICOS registered course. This means that the credit granted on the basis of study undertaken in Australia in a course registered with CRICOS may contribute towards meeting the Australian study requirement, but only once.

Example 1:

If a course is CRICOS registered for 138 weeks (three years) and consists of 24 equal weighted units, you will have completed two academic years when you have successfully completed 16 units of that course. That means that if you are enrolled in that course you can be given credit based on non-CRICOS registered study of up to eight units and still complete two academic years of study.

Example 2:

If a course is CRICOS registered for 92 weeks (two years) and consists of 12 equal weighted units, you would be required to complete all 12 units to meet the Australian study requirement.

If you were granted credit based on study in another course also registered with CRICOS, then these exemptions could still contribute towards meeting the study requirement regardless if a qualification was awarded for this other course.

However, if you are enrolled in this course and given any credit based on non-CRICOS registered study you will not have completed two academic years study and would fail to meet the Australian study requirement.

If you fall short of the 92 weeks of study due to exemptions you have received, you have several options to meet the Australian study requirement. Options could include have the university rescind the exemptions so you must now successfully complete these subjects to be awarded your qualification complete additional units that are at the same level as the exempted units (or higher) and which are accepted by the university as award units for the qualification, such as an elective unit.


If the education provider specifies the units as ‘Non-Award’ units, then these units will not be able to count towards meeting the Australian study requirement. Also the additional units would need to be of sufficient registered CRICOS duration to take you to a total of 92 weeks of registered study.

Also note: The academic transcript should indicate that the elective is contributing towards the award of the degree for this unit to be counted towards meeting the Australian study requirement to ensure that there is no doubt about the electives being part of the award of the qualification complete an additional qualification that is closely related to the occupation you nominate on your General Skilled Migration application. This additional qualification must be of sufficient CRICOS registered duration to make up for the exempted units from the students course(s).

Requirements to meet for application of the course!

Each qualification that you have completed and are relying on to meet this requirement must:

  • be either a degree (a bachelor or any higher degree), a diploma, an advanced diploma, or a trade qualification
  • have been undertaken at an Australian educational institution in Australia
  • have been conducted in English
  • Register on CRICOS.

Note: English language proficiency courses or enabling programs cannot be used to meet the Australian study requirement.


Apart from the mentioned course here is a list of the best courses for a student to apply for in Australia!

Best Courses and universities in Australia!

Engineering (B-tech)

  1. University of Melbourne (Melbourne)
  2. University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  3. University of Sydney (SYDNEY)

Accountancy (CA – CS)

  1. Charles Darwin University
  2. Holmes Institute
  3. Melbourne Institute of Technology


  1. University Of Sydney
  2. University of Queensland
  3. University of South Australia

And there are numerous number of other courses that a student could use to get to their goals.

Process of getting Permanent Residency for students!

– General Skilled Migration (189/190 points tested visas)

If you are young, have a good English and finished your course in Australia you should not have big problems to obtain a minimum number of 60 points required for either of these visas. This applies even if you have very limited work experience or no experience at all. Having obtained state nomination for visa subclass 190 does help as you get extra 5 points for state nomination.

– Family stream options (mainly partner visa 820/801)

This is quite self-explanatory situation. You might meet a partner or get married with Australian citizen or permanent resident during your studies in Australia. If he or she is willing to sponsor you, after having met certain conditions, you could apply for permanent resident visa.

The advantage of making a valid application for this visa is that you are eligible for bridging visa A with no conditions as long as your application is made in Australia. That means that from day one you might be able to work full time without any restrictions.

– Temporary work visa (generally 457 visa)

Being the most popular Australian temporary work visa, 457 visa can however lead you to permanent residency. If after having spent at least 2 years within one employer they want to offer you permanent role you could be eligible to apply for permanent visa (either 186 ENS or 187 RSMS)

– Temporary Graduate 485 visa

Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) is probably the easiest and very straightforward choice after student visa expiry for anybody who receives a suitable qualification and meet 2 year Australian study requirement.

Although not a permanent visa, it can give you some extra time to improve your work experience in Australia without worrying about work restrictions. At the same time it could give you extra time to prepare paperwork for your permanent visa application.

Obviously Post Study stream with 2+ years of work permission in that visa is much better option that Graduate Work one (up to 1.5 year & compulsory skills assessement) as long as you qualify. This visa was explained further in my earlier post here.

It is quite unlikely for majority of you to meet all requirements for Employer Sponsored visas (subclasses 186/187 in Direct Entry stream) just after completion of your English/Diploma/Bachelor course.

186 ENS visa requires from you minimum 3 years work experience and positive skills assessment is necessary (Direct Entry). For somebody with no previous or limited work experience this can prove very difficult to overcome.

Changing your student visa into one of the visas listed below might be prevented by visa condition on your current visa. Condition 8503 ‘no further stay’ is pretty much a ban on any further visa applications within Australia unless you are able to show that due to exceptional circumstances you should extend your stay.

Other quite nasty conditions include 8534 and 8535 which stop you from applying for any non-student visa. They are quite common in passport holders from countries having assessment level 2-4.

All in all, moving from student visa to permanent residency can be done without big problems when planned well ahead, preferably before you even start your course.