Non-citizens who are in possession of a permanent visa are issued with permanent residence. Anyone who has been granted PR in Australia will be allowed to live, study and work in Australia without any restrictions.
Any person who has permanent residence will be entitled to most of the rights that citizens enjoy. There are however a few differences.
- Citizens have the automatic right to enter Australia. If a permanent resident wishes to travel abroad, they will need to make sure that they have a permanent visa with a valid travel authority before they want to return to the country.
- All citizens of Australia may vote in the government elections. Most of the time, permanent residents will not be allowed to, unless they were enrolled to vote before 1984.
Eligibility for Australian government benefits and services, for both non-citizens and citizens, is the sole responsibility of the government agency with policy responsibility for the benefit or service. Below are a few examples of services and benefits.
Whether or not you are eligible for social security benefits and services will depend on a number of issues. Social security agreements between other countries and Australia will have an impact on the decisions made.
Medicare – National Health Scheme
The scheme is governed by the Health Insurance act 1973. Australian residents are eligible, as set out in the act. There are some cases in which visitors to Australia are eligible to some form of cover via health care agreements between Australia and other countries.
Education in Australia
The government in each state manages their school system, where they provide regulation for the schools and provide them with funding. There are private and public schools in each state.
HELP / Higher Education Loans Program
Only permanent humanitarian visa holders and Australian citizens have access to HELP and discounts associated with up-front payments.
Being able to vote in federal elections is limited to Australian citizens and some people who enrolled before the 25th of January 1984. For more information regarding this, it is recommended that you contact your immigration expert.