Does Australia offer a Retirement Visa?
The Australian Retirement Visa application is not open anymore.
The Australian government decided to cancel the Retirement Visa scheme as part of the 2018-19 Budget. The news was officially announced in November 2018.
In the past, foreign travelers could apply either for the Retirement Visa (Subclass 410) designed for retirees and their partners or the Investor Retirement Visa (Subclass 405) created for self-funded retirees with no dependents. Both documents allowed eligible foreigners to enjoy their retirement years in Australia.
Since 2018, it has been impossible for new applicants to obtain a retirement residence permit in Australia. Those who already have the issued document may apply for the Australian Pathway program.
What is the Pathway program?
Although you cannot apply for the permit anymore, there is an alternative way for holders of the Retirement Visa and Investor Retirement Visa to stay in Australia. If you already have the document and have contributed to the Australian community, you can request the Pathway.
Am I eligible for the Pathway program?
The unique Pathway program was created to provide an opportunity for retirees to reside permanently in Australia. You may apply for the Pathway if, on 8th May 2018, you have been a holder of the Retirement Visa or the Investment Retirement Visa (or these were your last substantive travel permits).
The eligibility criteria for the Pathway are as follows:
-be 55 years of age or older
-be of good character
-be in good health
-reside temporarily in Australia (during application)
-travel without dependents (family members)
How do I apply for the Pathway program?
It is possible to access the Pathway program by applying for either:
–Parent Visa (Subclass 103)
-Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143)
Priority to the processing is given to applicants registering for the Contributory Parent Visa.
To proceed with the application, you must meet the requirements for the respective visa type. Meeting the sponsorship, balance of family test, or Assurance of Support requirement is not essential.
If your Retirement Visa or Investment Retirement Visa is about to expire and you decide to submit the Pathway application, the Australian government will grant you a Bridging Visa. With the permit, you will be allowed to stay legally in Australia while waiting for the approval of your Pathway application.
What else should I know about the Pathway program?
Medicare Health Coverage
If you have applied for the Pathway, you are not yet eligible for the Australian public health coverage program called Medicare. You will be able to access it once you are granted permanent residency in Australia.
Impact on Daily Life
Holders of the Retirement Visa or the Investor Retirement Visa should remember that their document becomes a temporary visa for the registration process.
This situation may impact their daily life, including applicable tax policy, ability to purchase property, eligibility for social services, and access to subsided medications. More details on the topic for individual applicants may be found on the Australian government website.
How can I obtain a Permanent Residence Visa to Australia?
There are multiple ways in which you may become a permanent resident of Australia. The most common ways of obtaining Australian permanent residency are through applying for the following visa types:
-parents, children, partners, or relatives of an Australian citizen
-parents, children, partners, or relatives of an Australian permanent resident
-parents, children, partners, or relatives of a New Zealand citizen
-children in the process of being adopted outside of Australia
-caregivers moving to Australia to provide long-term care for an approved relative
-foreign workers sponsored by their employers to work in Australia
-foreign workers possessing skills valued in Australia
-people undertaking investment activities in Australia
-people undertaking business activities in Australia
It is essential to check the status of your current visa before applying for a new permit. If your document has a “no further stay” condition attached, it is forbidden to stay in Australia beyond the specified validity period, even in the case of a permanent residency application.
What other visa types allow me to stay in Australia permanently?
Apart from the permits described above, there are some additional documents that allow eligible foreigners to stay permanently in Australia. You can apply for the following documents:
Former Resident Visa
-for people with a status of former residents
Global Talent Visa
-for people with a record of exceptional achievements recognized internationally
Refugee Visa or Humanitarian Visa
-for people leaving their country due to persecution
What are the benefits of spending retirement in Australia?
Although retirees cannot apply for the Australian Retirement Visa or the Investor Retirement Visa anymore, it is still possible to reside in Australia permanently.
There are numerous benefits you can enjoy once you retire in Australia:
-Healthcare system – healthcare for all Australian citizens is funded through the universal Medicare scheme. The program provides health coverage for the residents and grants them access to public hospitals. If you wish, you can additionally register for private health insurance.
-Economy facilities – Australia has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Its impressive growth is mainly due to robust infrastructure and a progressive business community. Foreign investments opened up new markets and made it easier for people to start their own businesses.
-Security and safety – ranked 16th regarding safety and security, Australia is considered one of the safest countries worldwide. It has relatively low levels of crime and strict laws in place to deter it. It also benefits from efficient emergency services that respond quickly and are well-equipped to handle all situations.