Permanent Residency for Hong Kong and BNO Passport Holders

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Permanent Residency for Hong Kong and BNO Passport Holders

After months of deliberation and speculation, the Australian government has passed new laws which give Hong Kong passport holders pathways to permanent residency (PR).

As already reported, the Australian government had promised PR to Hong Kong passport holders but had yet to make a final determination. Automatic five (5) year stays have already been granted to holders of subclass 487, 482 and 485 visas. Now, the time has come for the next step – PR.

The PR pathways are through new streams of the subclass 189 and 191 visas:

Subclass 189 (Skilled—Independent) visa in the Hong Kong stream

This is not a points tested stream so there is no need for English tests and skills assessments. There are two main criteria:

  • the applicant must have complied substantially with the conditions of their subclass 457, 482 or 485 visa; or any subsequent bridging visa; and
  • been usually resident in Australia for a period of at least 4 years immediately before the date of the application.

Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa in the Hong Kong (Regional) stream

Again, the criteria is similar to the subclass 189 visa except for the residency requirement:

  • the applicant must have complied substantially with the conditions of their subclass 457, 482 or 485 visa; or any subsequent bridging visa; and
  • been usually resident in Australia for a period of at least 3 years immediately before the date of the application.
  • The applicant lived, worked or studied in a designated regional area in the 3 years immediately before the date of the application.

One can see from the above, that living, studying and/or working in a regional area cuts the waiting time to PR down to 3 years. You can add family members to your application, too.

Citizenship

The residency requirement for Australian Citizenship demand that you must have been living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years with the last year being a permanent resident. This means that you can theoretically apply for citizenship after only one year on your PR visa.

The PR streams will be open to applications from 5 March 2022. If you believe you are eligible, or would like further information, contact us today. Utilize our expertise to assist you with preparing your visa application so that you are ready to apply as soon as possible.

Call +61 (0)7 5592 0755
Or book an appointment with one of our registered migration agents.
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