Permanent Residency Vs citizenship

Difference in Australian Citizenship and Permanent Residence: A Complete Guide


Australia is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, providing its residents with quality life standards, better education, and health facilities. With an unpolluted environment, best scenery, and low population density, it attracts people worldwide. So, Are you also planning to move to Australia in 2024 to enjoy all these facilities? Or confused about the difference in Australian citizenship and permanent residence before applying for a visa? Look no further.

This blog post has got you covered. Get ready to embark on a journey to explore the differences in Australian citizenship and permanent residence. After reading it you will learn about the difference between both of them including their own responsibilities and privileges. So, before deep diving into the understanding of the difference in Australian citizenship and permanent residence, let’s first define who is a permanent resident and citizen.

Who is a Permanent Resident?

A person with a valid visa who can remain in Australia for a definite period is a permanent resident. Australia allows its permanent residents to work and study in Australia, travel to and from the country on many occasions, and use national healthcare facilities like Medicare. They can also sponsor their family members for permanent residency.

Responsibilities of Permanent Residents

Here is the list of responsibilities of a permanent resident;

  • You must inform the Department of Home Affairs whenever you plan to change your residence.
  • A permanent resident must renew the necessary documents before visa expiry.
  • A Permanent resident must follow all Australian laws and regulations.
  • As a PR, you have to pay the Australian taxes.

Who is an Australian Citizen?

Australian citizenship refers to the legal status of belonging to the Australian community. It grants the right to vote in elections, to live and work in Australia forever, to travel with an Australian passport, and to obtain consular support while traveling abroad.

Responsibilities of Australian Citizens

Citizenship comes with certain responsibilities, which are;

  • As an Australian citizen, you have to obey all Australian laws.
  • You have to defend Australia wherever the need arises.
  • If a jury calls you, you have to serve it.
  • You have to participate in jury duty when asked.
  • As an Australian citizen make sure to enroll yourself in federal and state voter registration lists.

Now that you’ve gained insight into the distinct responsibilities associated with Australian citizenship and permanent residency, let’s delve into the other significant differences between these two statuses.

Comparison in Australian Citizenship and Permanent Residence

Every journey is different, and deciding between residency and citizenship is a crucial step towards making Australia your permanent home. When choosing between permanent residency and citizenship, one must carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Whether your preference is for the security of permanent residency or you want to enjoy all the benefits of Australian citizenship, you need to consider the following points.

Difference in Australian Citizenship and Permanent Residence


Requirements to Become Australian Permanent Resident

The key pathway to permanent residency is through various visa programs, each with its own set of requirements. However, in general you have to score at least 65 points on the PR visa test to apply for permanent residency in Australia, The points are given based on various factors, including age, work experience, and English proficiency.

  • You must be under 45 years of age.
  • Your IELTS score must be above 5 to demonstrate proficiency in English Language.
  • To apply for PR in Australia you have to submit positive skill assessment certificates in your nominated occupation.
  • Provide health insurance and police verification certificate.
  • In Australia, permanent residents must reside in the country for at least two years out of every five years. Their PR status might be terminated if they leave Australia for an extended period.

Requirements to Become an Australian Citizenship

Before applying for citizenship, you have to fulfill these requirements;

  • Apply if you are a permanent resident for a predetermined period.
  • Pass citizenship test
  • Fulfill residency requirements.
  • Maintain moral integrity

Once a person becomes an Australian citizen, they can enjoy all the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens. I know what you are thinking right now so let me tell you about the citizenship test.

What is a Citizenship Test?

Before submitting an application for Australian citizenship, you must pass a test if you meet the general qualifying requirements. This citizenship test checks whether you know Australian values, history, culture, and national symbols. Individuals who are under 18 or over 60 or with a severe disability or loss of speech, hearing, or vision can not participate in this test.

The test is a crucial component of making sure you can make the most of your possibilities in Australia and participate fully in the community as a citizen. It encourages harmonious social relationships and effective community integration.

Traveling Facilities for Permanent Residents vs Citizens

Permanent residents have a 5-year traveling visa facility; during this duration, they can enter or leave the country as often as they want. However, after five years, they need to renew their PR visa.

Australian citizens can travel to different countries with valid visas depending on individual laws. But they don’t need any visa for re-entry into Australia as compared to permanent residents.

Medical Benefits for Permanent Residents vs Citizens

Medicare provides complete coverage to Australian citizens. This implies that individuals won’t have to pay for any medical services or treatments that Medicare covers out of pocket. Additionally, residents are eligible for free medical care at public hospitals and medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Medicare benefits are limited to permanent residents. They aren’t entitled to the same degree of protection as Australian citizens. PR holders are entitled to free care and medical services in public hospitals. Furthermore, PR holders must reside in Australia for at least two years to fulfill Medicare eligibility criteria.

Dual Citizenship for Permanent Residents and Citizens

PR holders in Australia are permitted to hold dual citizenship, meaning they can continue to live as citizens of two countries and remain eligible for PR status in Australia. However, Australian citizens must renounce previous citizenship if their place of origin prohibits dual citizenship.

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Final Thoughts

To conclude, both PR and citizenship come with distinct advantages and limitations. Even though PR holders have many of the same rights and benefits as citizens, there is still a notable difference in Australian Citizenship and Permanent Residence. Of course, citizens enjoy more benefits than permanent residents. To become an Australian citizen, you must first secure permanent residence in Australia. 

So, if you are searching for any consultancy regarding getting PR or citizenship in Australia, look no further. The Migration has got you covered. Our MARA-certified team is here to assist you, from providing PR visa-related services to getting Australian citizenship. So, why wait for less when the consultancy is just a click away? Book your consultation now and allow us to elevate your future in Australia.


What is the duration of permanent residency required to obtain Australian citizenship?

To be qualified for conferral citizenship in Australia, you must have been residing in Australia for four years before the day of your application with a valid visa.

What is the simplest pathway to Australian permanent residence?

A PR visa can be obtained through a points-based process with a skilled independent visa (Subclass 189). It is offered to skilled international workers who want to live and work in Australia. You must obtain a job mentioned on the skilled occupation list to qualify for this visa.

Which is the easiest state to get PR in Australia in 2024?

Tasmania is the easiest state to get permanent residence in Australia in 2024. It is renowned for its high-quality produce, unusual biodiversity, and breathtaking natural beauty. The Tasmanian Government offers Subclass 491 and Subclass 190 visas to get PR.

Is schooling in Australia free for PR citizens?

You can attend primary and secondary government schools for free as long as you are an Australian permanent resident. It implies that your kids can get a quality education without worrying about paying heavy tuition fees.


I am Kiran Bashir, a seasoned immigration and visa consultant. I used to seamlessly translate expertise into words. I am specialized in writing blogs, articles, and website content on Australian visa services.