As part of its planned migration program, the Australian government annually allocates places for people who want to migrate permanently to Australia.
Australian migration program today consists of three main streams – skilled stream, family stream and humanitarian stream. Australia’s planned migrant intake for 2013-14 year is over 200,000. This does not include the intake of subclass 457 skilled migrants (around 90,000 annually) and New Zealanders (around 25,000 annually) who do not form part of the annual migration plan.
Australian permanent residents enjoy many of the rights and privileges of citizens, including access to education, health services, social security benefits (waiting period and special conditions apply) and the right to sponsor close relatives for permanent residency. There are few employment restrictions though some state or federal government positions do require Australian citizenship.
Permanent residents may remain in Australia indefinitely and multiple entries during the initial 5-year visa. After the expiry of the initial visa the holder is required to have a Resident Return Visa if the individual plans to travel to and from Australia.
Children born in Australia of permanent residents are Australian citizens by birth.