out of bridging visa blah, yay!
November 9, 2014 7:53 PM   Subscribe

A couple of months ago I finally got out of bridging visa hell and obtained my Australian permanent residency. What can I do with it?

For the 5 years that my application was in process, I kept losing out on opportunities for jobs, funding, and so on because of my bridging visa. Most things that get even a whiff of Government money would say "PRS AND CITIZENS ONLY", and even jobs that I could apply to would not hire me because of it. Auditioning on TV reality shows required permanent residency. I was even denied flood compensation money because of my bridging visa, despite every other visa category getting cash.

Now that I have my permanent residency, what can I do with it? I understand that the current Government is shutting down a lot of funding opps anyway, and I wouldn't be surprised if the rules for residency-eligibility became tighter. But I want to take advantage of it as much as I can.

I can't get Centrelink yet since I need to be a PR for at least two years. My main interests are in arts, education, community development, and media making, though at this point I'm also open to unusual ideas and benefits (such as the fact that as an Aussie PR, I can renew US visas by mail). I think I can get credit cards now - what else can I do?
posted by divabat to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Medicare (bulk billing!) and optometrist appointments.

And a mefi celebration party in Sydney!?
posted by taff at 8:08 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Go to uni without paying foreign student fees. Go in and out of the country as much as you like. Apply for citizenship?
posted by jojobobo at 8:26 PM on November 9, 2014

Response by poster: I had Medicare already as a bridging visa holder (THANK GOD). Party forthcoming once I return from the US next year!

I only just learnt that I can work, live, and study in New Zealand freely too as a PR.
posted by divabat at 8:32 PM on November 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Congratulations, divabat!
Travel! Elsewhere! Without having to get Australia's approval for your reasoning!
Most jobs that require a security clearance require PR. (Not that there's a lot of arts or community dev jobs that work like that.)
Unless you can make a very persuasive case via the waiver mechanism, you can only act as Chief Investigator A on an NHMRC grant if you have PR.
posted by gingerest at 8:57 PM on November 9, 2014

I have PR too... Looks like we might also be able to work in the UK and Canada at some point!
posted by jrobin276 at 10:52 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Good on ya.

I'm still waiting, but I know it won't be 5(?!) years. Another 4 months, I hope.

What you'll be able to do? Get a job worth doing. I'm freelancing my way through BVA purgatory, but it's getting old.
posted by flippant at 3:04 AM on November 10, 2014


You can now study at TAFE for the local rate (it's the same same for P.R. and citizens). Unfortunately just in time for it to become a whole lot more expensive for everyone (in NSW, anyway).

Have a kid who will be an Australian citizen?
posted by Cheese Monster at 3:27 AM on November 10, 2014

I think you can apply to the Australia Council, or equivalent state arts bodies, for community arts project grants -- by yourself or auspiced by a local community org.
posted by dontjumplarry at 5:05 AM on November 10, 2014

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