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Pros and cons of permanent residency in Australia

Permanent residency is a special visa category in Australia that allows migrants to live, work and gain welfare in Australia without being Australians. It can be an appealing via category for migrants who love their country and will sing a national anthem declaring an undying allegiance but who prefer to live in Australia. With permanent residency, they can hold on to their birth citizenship and proudly wave their country of origin flag while enjoying what they feel is a superior life in Australia. Additionally, it can be an attractive category for migrants who find studying for the citizenship test too much of a hassle.

Although permanent residency may be attractive to those who have an emotional attachment to their mother/father lands, it has a few disadvantages. Firstly, permanent residents can not vote. Admittedly, many Australians oppose compulsory voting so this could be an upside. Nevertheless, making a decision to abstain from the political process can make the migrant look a bit hypocritical if the migrant chooses to partake in the perpetual criticism of government that defines many Australian conversations. Secondly, permanent residents can not work in the public service. Of course, not many people in the public service work in the public service either. Nevertheless, being paid a lot to say they are working in the public service is an attractive option for many Australians. Thirdly, permanent residents need to pay university fees upfront. This could be  problem for those migrants wanting to study an arts degree without an ambition to ever earn above the income threshold required to pay the loan back to the government. Fourthly, although breaking the law was once an entry ticket into Australia, in contemporary times, permanent residents can be deported if they break Australian laws. Consequently, any migrant with aspirations on starting up illicit businesses should take up citizenship first. (Certainly Australian jails are more comfortable than are many around the world so it is better to be caught in Australia than say Indonesia or Russia). Finally, permanent residents can not get Australian passports. This can be a bit of a hassle because Australian passports holders often don't need visas, Australia has reciprocal work arrangements with many countries and consular assistance is available for those Australians who do something stupid when abroad.

For the law abiding migrant that has no aspirations for public service employment, civic participation or travel to any country except that of their birth, then none of these issues would matter. For them, the only reason to take out citizenship would be to express loyalty to the land they have chosen to make their home.

 

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