There are various reasons why people choose to migrate to Australia from Singapore or Malaysia or anywhere in the region, but what does an Australian permanent residency (PR) allow you to do?
This article will go through just a few of the benefits that Australian permanent residents and Australian citizens enjoy.
Stay Indefinitely in Australia
There is a bit of confusion about how long you can stay in Australia after you get a permanent residency visa approved.
Some people think that it allows you to stay 5 years at a time, as what appears as the ‘must not enter date’ on visa grant letters is usually 5 years after the visa grant date.
This is not correct.
If you have a permanent residency, you can stay in Australia indefinitely as long as you never leave. The 5 year or 1 year expiry dates are for your authority to travel or remain outside Australia while still maintaining your status as a permanent resident.
For example if you live in Singapore, when your visa is approved, usually you are given 1 year to make the initial arrival to Australia (basically fly in to ‘activate’ you via, you can then leave back to Singapore).
After that you stay in Singapore until the ‘5 year date’ on your visa latter. At this point if you choose to stay outside of Australia after that date, then yes, you could lose your residency status.
However, if you fly to Australia and stay past that date, it does matter. A permanent resident could stay onshore in Australia forever. Expiry dates only come in play when you want to travel outside the country.
Enrol in Medicare
Australia has arguably one of the best medical systems in the entire world.
The cornerstone of that is the Medicare program, which is run and controlled by the government across the country.
It provides for free care in public hospitals and subsidized fees for certain medical services and prescription medications.
Most clinics provide a rebate paid through medicare (private clinics) or fully free consultation and some procedures (bulk billed clinics) across Australia.
Mandatory immunization is free and can be taken at either private or bulk billed clinics in most major cities.
As a permanent resident, you gain access to Medicare service providers and public hospitals.
Even women who were not pregnant at the time of getting their PR approved will be able to use Medicare once their PR is approved while pregnant – there are no prerequisites or grace periods to wait out.
Buy Existing Residential Property
In most cities buying second hand residential property is only allowed by citizens and permanent residents. This measure was put into place to protect the market from an influx of foreign funds coming in and buying up entire neighbourhoods and pushing locals out to further suburbs.
Foreign buyers need to buy off the plan (brand new) residences as well as pay certain tax surcharges, making the price higher than what a local would pay.
As a permanent resident you would incur no surcharge for buying property of any type, in fact if it’s your first home you may even qualify for certain tax incentives of savings. We will cover more on this topic in a later article.
The daycare and childcare industry in Australia is a very high demand one, with places in them very highly sought after by parents for their kids.
Because of this the daily price of childcare can be quite high depending on the type and location of your chosen provider.
The Child Care allowances are managed by Centrelink and can include:
Child Care Rebate helps with the cost of child care fees. It covers up to 50% of your out of pocket child care expenses up to an annual limit of $7,613 per child.
There are other childcare rebates as well, such as the Child Care Benefit that is a cash payment to help with childcare costs. Some of these benefits are income tested, but you would qualify for them immediately upon settling in Australia.
Get a Job
Just like in Singapore or Malaysia, you would need valid approval to work in the country before a company would be able to hire you, but in Australia the typical ‘work visa’ is not as common as in Singapore or Malaysia.
What this means is that most of the people who live in Australia are either on permanent residencies or provisional residencies and is something that companies ask for everyone applying for a position in the company.
This makes finding a job in Australia difficult without first being a resident, for example in Singapore you could apply for some of the larger companies from overseas with no current work permit, but if the company likes your qualifications and want to hire you, the process of getting a work permit is very straight forward.
In Australia this is not the case – the process of getting a work permit is difficult for both the company and the employee and can take many months to sort out.
That’s why most Australian companies hire almost exclusively permanent residents, even if you are overseas at the time of applying, as long as you are a permanent resident you would at least be open for consideration for the role.
Other things that a permanent resident can do, which we will cover in later articles include:
- Send their children to public education for a subsidized or free rate
- Qualify for certain social security benefits
- Apply for bank loans to buy property
- Apply for a first home owner’s grant
- Buy businesses and commercial property
- Start a business