There are plenty of benefits to becoming an Australian permanent resident, one of which being the opportunity to work towards citizenship. Below are 10 facts about Australian citizenship and permanent residency:
Australian Residency is not the Same as Citizenship
The terms ‘resident’ and ‘citizen’ are sometimes thrown about seemingly interchangeably. This is not technically the case. Permanent residents have many of the rights of a citizen, such as the right to live, study, and work in Australia, but lack certain privileges that come along with citizenship.
Australian citizens hold many additional rights, such as being able to vote during elections, have unfettered entry to Australia when travelling from abroad and being eligible for all public services and benefits from the government, although some benefits are available to permanent residents as well.
Citizens Can Travel Visa-Free to 183 Countries
As of July 2020, Australian citizens have something (a few things, really) in common with Canadians. We are tied for having the 9th most powerful passport in the world, allowing us to travel to 183 countries without a visa. There’s a lot more of the world to see outside of our great country, so take advantage if you’ve got an Australian passport.
Your Children Can Become Citizens, Too
If you have immigrated to Australia and become a citizen, congratulations! If you have brought along your little ones, the good news is that they can automatically become citizens once you do. This is in contrast with many other countries, which are unfortunately far stricter in their requirements.
The Right to Vote
The right to vote is exclusively held by Australian citizens. A significant part of what makes our nation great is our foundation and tradition of upholding democratically-elected representatives and voting them out once we have had enough. So long as you are over the age of 18 and a citizen, you have the right to vote and shape the future of the Lucky Country.
Citizens Can Move to New Zealand
Some say we are the naughty neighbours of beautiful New Zealand, but the truth is our countries have much in common. One benefit that Australian citizens have is the right (in many cases) to simply move to New Zealand permanently. The grass is greener on the other side, perhaps?
Financial Assistance for Students
Studying at an Australian university is a great way to gain practical skills and education in an English-speaking country, but it can also be prohibitively expensive. International students pay hefty tuition fees, but permanent residents and citizens alike can study at a reduced rate (although it is still relatively expensive).
Citizens can take advantage of the HECS-HELP scheme to fund their tuition, but permanent residents cannot. This is yet another great reason to work towards citizenship.
Excellent Consular Support Overseas
Australians can take advantage of a wide range of benefits whilst abroad. Consular support is something you may require if you encounter any problems whilst in another country, and Australian citizens can take full advantage of their resources.
Work in Defence or Government
If you have ever aspired to serve your new country or become a policymaker or public servant in Australia, we encourage that you work towards citizenship so that you can apply for these well-paid opportunities and serve with distinction.
Permanent Residents have Limited Travel Rights
Many people are unaware that when granted permanent residency, the travel facility on that visa must be renewed every 5 years. This means that if you leave Australia without a valid travel facility, you may find it difficult to get back in. Citizens do not have these kinds of problems, making citizenship even more attractive to temporary residents.
Citizens are Members of the Community
Permanent residents can take pride in saying “I live in Australia,” which is a privilege for many, but citizens can truly say “I AM Australian.” Citizenship is the peak of the mountain, where you are fully a part of the community.
Get in touch with Visa Plan if you’re interested in migrating to beautiful Australia.