If you are an international student in Australia chances are that you will want to have a path to permanent residency in Australia. There are a lot of options for doing this but it will require some planning. The earlier you start planning to stay in Australia the more likely it is that you will achieve your goal.
There are a number of visas that could lead to permanent residency if you are an international student which include the Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa, the Subclass 186 Employer Sponsored Visa, the Subclass 489 Regional Sponsored Migration or, if you develop a relationship with an Australian PR or Citizen, the partner visa. Also, it always a good idea to keep in mind that you could get a Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa which allows you to stay in Australia for 18 months if you have a Bachelor Degree or up to 4 years if you have a Post Graduate degree. Another option that you should consider is applying for a job as a 457 holder and then becoming a permanent resident after 2 years of working for the same employer.
Basically Permanent Residency in Australia is based on the following factors: English language ability, skills in demand from the skilled occupation list, age, educational qualifications and work experience. Under the points test system, there are also points available for state or territory nomination.
1. English Language Ability
This is evidenced by an IELTS Test or OET exam. The minimum score for PR is an IELTS of 6 in all bands or a minimum of B in the OET exam. You can claim more points under the points test if you have higher results in either of these tests.
2. Skilled Occupation List
For independent skilled migration, you need to consider the impact of the skilled occupation list. For sponsored visas, you need to look at what is in the consolidated skilled occupation list. The consolidated list is much longer and should allow you a far greater breadth of employment options.
For general skilled migration, you will need to be under 50 years of age which is not a problem for most international students. You can claim points on the points test for being between 20 and 30 or between 30 and 40 as well.
4. Educational Background
Higher education either here or overseas can be claimed for points on the points test. You can claim more points for degrees completed in Australia and even more points for higher degrees such as a master or PhD especially if completed in Australia.
5. Work Experience
If you have overseas or local work experience which is relevant to your nominated occupation, you can claim points for this on the points test. In some cases this will need to be verified through the process of obtaining a skills assessment.
We have helped a number of students navigate the immigration system in order to become permanent residents in Australia and we would be happy to help you achieve the same thing. Please get in contact with us if you would like to know more.