Australia Vs. USA Immigration: Which Country is Better for Indians to apply for Permanent Residency?

Australia Vs. USA Immigration: Key Differences & Comparisons for Permanent Residence 

Immigration Policies

Australia

Australia is a flourishing country, just like the USA. It features a strong economy and excellent living facilities. This country is also known to be one of the highest paying job markets in the world. IT professionals and engineers can earn better in Australia than in the USA.

Australian immigration policy is way transparent and straightforward compared to the USA. Therefore, a large number of Indian skilled migrants and workers prefer to settle in Australia.

The Australian immigration system is point-based. It is very well organized and easy to understand. This country believes in the speedy processing of the visas to boost skilled migration programs.

Once you have secured a work visa in Australia, you have better scope to get a permanent residency there. There are multiple ways to get PR in Australia. Each of these pathways comes with different eligibility criteria. You have to fulfil the eligibility criteria to apply for any particular path.

USA

Every year, thousands of Indian skilled workers and students head for the USA. Many of them look for permanent residency here.

The United States is the home to top global multinational companies and world-class educational institutes. Here the job market is also diversified. The country is known for its quality education system. That's why so many foreign nationals wish to stay in the USA forever.

Although this country is very welcoming, it keeps revising its immigration policies. The primary reason to do so is to control immigration to the USA.

Since the last decade, it has not been easy for extremely skilled workers and individuals to get an H1B visa. It is easy to obtain a temporary visa in the USA. But it is challenging to convert such visas into permanent residency.

List of factors affecting both countries

We are listing the most common reasons why Indians love to settle either in Australia or in the USA. This will surely assist you in choosing the best country for immigration. Take a look at them.

Australia

  • The easy and faster Australian immigration process
  • Access to free or subsidised Health Care systems. Australia houses some of the world’s best hospitals.
  • Free or heavily subsidised education
  • High-quality living standards
  • Well-paid job opportunities
  • The diversified and well-organized education system
  • Family-friendly environment ideal for children
  • Wonderful sunny climate
  • Opportunity to explore breath-taking landscapes across the country
  • Peaceful multicultural society
  • Laid-back and relaxed lifestyle
  • Australia’s population is low that ensures better living facility for everyone
  • One of the least polluted countries in the world

US

  • Better job opportunities
  • Better pay structures
  • Securing financial security for the entire family
  • Opportunity to earn political rights
  • Access to world-class educational institutions
  • High standard of living
  • Living with your American families/spouse
  • Travel anywhere in the USA after obtaining the citizenship
  • Getting citizenship for the children
  • After securing the USA citizenship, you can sponsor green cards for your family members and relatives
  • International protection
  • No forced deportation even in case of serious crime

Availing PR

Australia

  • Getting a permanent residency permit to Australia is possible. This is a long but well-organized process.
  • You have to score a minimum of 67 points out of 100 for Australia’s point-based immigration system.
  • The Australian Government officials conduct a thorough background check on the PR applicants. This is to make sure that they are not fraudulent.
  • Australia's PR permit may take some time to get approved. But it is the easiest way to get Australian citizenship.

USA

  • A permanent residency option is very much possible in the USA. But this is a very long and slow process. It is somewhat complicated too.
  • The applicant has to reside in the USA for at least five years on employment grounds before applying for the PR visa. Then you will be given a “Green Card.” The whole process can take years to complete.

Cost

Australia

The overall cost of living in Australia is 10% higher than in the USA. Living in Australia is expensive. But you shouldn’t hesitate to immigrate to Australia. Multinational companies in Australia and local establishments offer much better pay to their foreign skilled workers. The minimum wage is also higher in Australia.

This doesn’t mean that the USA offers a poor salary to its employees. In the USA, you would get enough opportunities to earn handsomely. Cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles come with greater living costs than other parts of the country.

US

One individual's living cost for one month in any standard city in the USA is approximately $1,100 - $1,300. In comparison, the average cost of living per month in Australia ranges between $1,300 - $1,500 for one person. There is no denying that Australia is costlier to live than the USA.

These costs are just average estimations. The actual cost of living mostly depends on the lifestyle you follow. There are several other additional costs, including medical insurance and visa processing charge.

Permanent Residence 

Australia

A permanent Resident visa is given to Australia's non-citizens who are willing to work and live permanently in Australia. Australian PR program is a point-based procedure. It is very systematic too.

Benefits of Australia PR Visa

Here are the benefits of Australian PR visa :

  • You can work, study and live anywhere in Australia.
  • You can travel within and outside Australia without any restriction
  • PR visa holders hold similar rights to Australian citizens except for the voting right and applying for government jobs
  • You can sponsor spouse, partner, family members, and dependent children to Australia
  • You can access healthcare and social security benefits
  • Children of PR holders, born in Australia, will be a citizen by birth

Eligibility for Australia PR Visa

You can apply for the PR in Australia, when :

  • You are at least a graduate degree holder
  • You have a minimum three years of experience
  • You are aged below 45 years
  • You scored at least 65 points
  • You have proof of English language proficiency

Australia Permanent Residency Visa Application Process

All Australian PR visa applicants have to cross different processing stages. Each stage takes a specific time to complete. Here are they –

  • Eligibility Check: You must check your eligibility criteria. This is mandatory to understand if you can apply for the PR visa or not.
  • Skill Assessment: Assess your educational background and work experience. The designated body of skill assessment does this. It may take 45-60 days to assess your skill.
  • Expression of Interest (EOI): Place your interest through Skill select. This stage determines your eligibility score. You have better chances of receiving an “Invitation to Apply” (ITA) if your scores are higher. Processing time for this phase depends on an individual’s score.
  • Visa Application: After receiving ITA, you need to submit the visa application to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. It usually takes two months to process a visa application after you received an ITA.
  • Add Dependents while applying for the visa: If your dependents are joining you, you have to add their details while applying for the visa.
  • Police Verification and Medical Test: You should apply for police verification and medical test after ITA.
  • Visa Approval: After submitting the visa documents, DIBP will review them. IF everything is satisfactory, you will receive your PR visa within 3 to 5 months
  • Getting Ready for Departure: You have to migrate to Australia within 6 months. Six months starts after you received confirmation of visa approval.

Documents Required for PR Application

Here is the list of documents required for Australia PR :

  • Passport and recent photograph
  • Education qualifications
  • Language test details
  • Work experience certificates from employer
  • Medical and police clearance certificate
  • Travel documents
  • Proof of settlement funds like bank accounts, bonds, cash, etc.

Australia Permanent Resident Visa Fees

Here are the PR Visa cost details in Australia :

Visa Category

Cost (AUD)

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

4045

Main Applicant

2025

Secondary Applicant (18+ years)

1015

Other Applicant (under 18 years)

 

 

 

Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

 

Main Applicant

4045

Secondary Applicant (18+ years)

2025

Other Applicant (under 18 years)

1010

 

 

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

 

Main Applicant

4045

Secondary Applicant (18+ years)

2025

Other Applicant (under 18 years)

1010

Australian PR Processing Time

As per DIBP, the average waiting time for Australia PR is around 8 months-12 months. Visa processing time largely depends on the visa category you have chosen for PR.

USA Permanent Residence

Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, allows you to stay and work permanently in the USA. Green Card comes with a validity of 10 years.

Benefits of having Green Card :

  • Green Card is valid for 10 years
  • It confirms your official immigration status in the United States
  • Allows you to work and live in the USA permanently
  • Gives you access to certain rights and responsibilities in the USA
  • Green Card is a must to apply for US Citizenship

Green Card Eligibility

There are several categories to be eligible for a Green Card. You must hold a valid visa. You can fit any of the following categories to apply for the card :

  • Through family/spouse
  • Through employment
  • Through refugee or asylee status
  • As a Special Immigrant case
  • As a crime or human trafficking victim
  • As an abuse victim
  • Through a registry OR
  • Through other categories

Green Card Application Steps

Here are the steps involved with the Green Card application :

  • Find out if you meet the green card eligibility criteria or not
  • If you are eligible, then file Form I-485
  • Form I-485 is meant to apply for registering permanent residence. This form is also used to adjust the PR status.
  • Then you have to submit the supporting documents along with the application form
  • Pay application fees. Don’t forget to take the proof of payment.
  • USCIS will review the application
  • The immigration department of the respective consulate will schedule an interview for you
  • If everything goes fine, you will receive a Green Card soon
  • You can check your application status online by entering your receipt number

Renewing or Replacing a Green Card

A green card can be renewed, if :

  • Your card has already expired
  • Your card is going to expire in the next six months

You must replace your Green Card, if :

  • Your green card was lost, damaged, or stolen
  • the card contains incorrect information or spelling mistakes
  • You have legally changed your name or any other biographic information
  • You never received the previous green card which was issued to you

Green Card Fees

As per the USCIS list, the Form I-192 and Form I-130 Green Card cost is $435. The biometrics Service Fee is about $85.

When do you need Travel Documents?

You may require additional travel documents to return to the USA from abroad, if :

  • You are a foreign citizen living in the USA
  • You are a Green Card holder in the USA

You have to obtain these travel documents before your trip from USCIS.

Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program in the USA

  • USA’s Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Lottery program offers up to 50,000 immigrant visas each year.
  • Only people from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. are allowed to participate. 
  • This lottery is a random opportunity for them to get a USA Green Card.
  • The share of green cards allotted to any country is a maximum of 7%.

Eligibility for DV Lottery Program

  • Lottery applicants must apply from their home country.
  • Must be a graduate degree holder or equivalent
  • having qualifying work experience

Green Card Processing Time

It takes about 120 days from the application date to receive the Green Card or Permanent Resident Card.

Average Work Hours

Australia

If you look at Australia, the standard work hours for an employee under a federally regulated sector are 40 hours a week. Australians work more or less, 41 hours a week.

US

As per the data revealed by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, American employees worked for approximately 34.4 hours per week in 2019.

Annual Leaves

Australia

The Australian full-time workers are entitled to get 4 weeks of paid annual leave for every year of employment.

US

In the USA, an average American full-time employee can get a 10-days paid vacation per year. The number of days may vary a little depending on the employer. But it is almost the same across the USA.

Most Sought-after Fields

Australia

The most sought-after job sectors in Australia are :

  • Nurses and medical staffs
  • IT and Software Programmer
  • Construction and Trades
  • Management Professional
  • Teacher
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Construction Engineer
  • Barristers
  • Surgeons

US

Now, take a look at the most sought-after jobs from the USA :

  • Application Software Developer
  • Registered Nurse
  • Medical Services Manager
  • Data Scientist
  • Business Development Manager
  • Medical Technologist
  • Construction Labourer
  • Home Health Aide
  • Finance Manager

Apart from these jobs, there are hoards of other job profiles available in the USA and Australia.

Study Scholarships

Take a look at the following table to know about the scholarships for Indian students :

USA Scholarships

Australian Scholarships

Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation scholarships

University of Queensland Postgraduate Coursework Scholarships

Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships for Indian students

University of Adelaide Ashok Khurana Scholarship for Indian Students

Asian Women in Business Scholarship Fund

Australian Leadership Awards (ALA)

S.N. Bose Scholars Student Exchange Program for Indian Students

University of Queensland India-Australia BEL Excellence Scholarship

Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellowships

Endeavour Awards

East-West Center Graduate Degree Fellowship

 

Asian Cultural Council Individual Grants

 

Tata Scholarships at Cornell

 

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowships Program

 

Yale University Fox International Fellowships

 

Climatic Conditions

Australia

  • This country is located in the southern hemisphere. That’s why summer in Australia starts in December. The Winter season begins in June.
  • Australia features more or less sunny weather for most of the year. The average temperature hovers near 20 degrees Celsius.
  • Snowfall is not that heavy like it is in the USA. Therefore, you can expect pleasant weather in Australia throughout the year.

US

  • The USA is a massive area of land. It has varied temperatures and climate in different zones.
  • The East Coast has a warm climate. This part encircles cities like St. Louis and NYC.  
  • The Midwest and New England regions feature frozen winters. Eminent cities from this zone include Chicago and Boston.  
  • The Pacific Northwest has a humid oceanic climate. This part showcases beautiful cities like Seattle and Portland.
  • The Southwest comes with a hot desert climate. Phoenix and Las Vegas are situated in this climate zone.
  • The south-east zone of the USA has a warm to a hot climate. It is somewhat humid also. It features cities like Houston and New Orleans.

Taxation Laws and Cost

Taxation laws and costs are critical factors in influencing migrant workers’ decision to settle for Australia or the USA. Here are two tables to explain the tax rates :

Australia

Taxable Income (USD)

Tax Rate

0 – 18,200

0%

18,201 – 37,000

19%

37,001 – 80,000

$3574 + 32.5%

80,001 – 180,000

$20,797 + 37%

Over 180,000

$54,097 + 45%

US

Taxable Income (USD)

Tax Rate

0 – 9,275

10%

9,276 – 37,650

15%

37,651 – 91,150

25%

91,151 – 190,150

28%

190,151 – 413,350

33%

413,351 – 415,050

35%

Over 415,051

39.6%

Immigration Laws

Australia

  • In Australia, undocumented migrants (not exactly the refugees) are also less in number than in the USA. This is because Australia PR takes less time to get approved.
  • If you are a foreign worker, then an Australian work visa gives you more stability.  

US

  • The USA’s H1B visa is very uncertain. H1B visas depend mostly on your US job nature.
  • The US immigration policy focuses on ‘family reunification.’ This is why the average number of family members against one US immigrant is 3.5.  Australian immigration policy also encourages immigrants to settle there with families.

Average Schooling Fees

Australia

There are mainly three types of schools in Australia. These are :

  1. State-run public schools
  2. Private schools  
  3. Subsidized Catholic schools

Public schools are free to attend for permanent residents and Australian citizens in the country. Private school fees in Australia can be anything between $1,000 - $ 30,000 per year.

US

The US government has made access to public schools free. You can also find lots of paid private schools in the country. The average schooling cost in a private elementary school in the USA is $10,000 a year. It is about $15,000 per annum for private high schools.

Types of Visas

Australia

There are several types of Australian visas that you can apply for:

  • Graduate Student Visa
  • Tourist Visa
  • Work Visa
  • Skilled Visa
  • Permanent Residence Visa
  • Business Immigrant Visa
  • Working Holiday Visa
  • Provincial Sponsored Visa

US

When aiming for the USA immigration, the most favourite immigrant visa routes are :

  • Spouse of a US Citizen (IR1, CR1)
  • Spouse of a US Citizen while waiting for the approval of an I-130 petition (K-3)
  • Fiancé(e) to marry US Citizen and live in the USA (K-1)

There are many other types of Immigrant visas for the USA. You can check them from this link.

Education

Australia

QS World University Rankings 2021 – Top 10 Universities in Australia

Aus. Rank

Global Rank

University

1

  31

Australian National University (ANU)

2

  40 

University of Sydney

3

  41 

University of Melbourne

4

  44 

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

5

  46 

University of Queensland (UQ)

6

  55 

Monash University

7

  92 

University of Western Australia (UWA)

8

  106

University of Adelaide

9

  133

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

10

  196 

University of Wollongong

US

QS World University Rankings: USA – Top 10 Universities in the US

Rank

Institution

Location

1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

2

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

3

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Cambridge, MA

4

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Berkeley, CA

5

Columbia University

New York, NY

6

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Los Angeles, CA

7

Yale University

New Haven, CT

8

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

9

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

10

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Common challenges faced by Indian immigrants 

Australia

Indian immigrants face several challenges while settling in Australia. Here is the list of some of the most common challenges faced by them :

  • Racism, particularly in suburbs and rural areas
  • Financial hardship because of a more expensive lifestyle
  • Learning a new language and a different accent
  • Understanding an entirely new cultural
  • Making good friends
  • Finding a decent place to stay
  • Employment discrimination
  • Fighting the prejudice
  • Limited access to government-funded schemes

USA

Here is the list of most common challenges that Indian migrants face in the USA :

  • Language barrier
  • Difficulty in blending in with different social norms
  • Isolation based on ethnicity
  • Social and racial discrimination
  • Finding a house to stay
  • Employment opportunities
  • Transportation issue
  • Raising children
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • A single country with nine standard time zones

Both Australia and the USA have their own advantages and disadvantages. You must check on them before starting the immigration journey. Let’s take a look at both the benefits and drawbacks of moving to these countries.

Latest Updates in Immigration Laws with date

Both Australia and the USA are known for their high living standards and a vibrant lifestyle. Before applying for a PR status in any of these countries, it’s good for skilled immigrants and international students to know the new immigration updates.

Australia

Here are the important updates in 2020 Australian Immigration Rules and Laws :

  • Closure of Victoria’s skilled nominated visa (subclass 190 and 491) for 2019-20 (June 2020)
  • NSW immigration will receive new NSW nominations. It is for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa subclass 491. Applications will be accepted from 15 June 2020 to 26 June 2020.
  • Migration update for Skilled and Business visas (1 July 2020)
  • Australia announces several visa changes to support international students (September 2020)
  • COVID-19 Concessions for Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa holders (18 September 2020)
  • Special COVID-19 Concessions for Skilled Regional 887 visa
  • New Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List announced on 2 September 2020
  •  Australian Immigration Updates (August 2020)

US

There are several updates for USA immigration rules in 2020. The major update is as follows :

  • The USA President, Donald Trump, has recently signed and passed a new Executive Order. This order limits immigration to the USA for the rest of the year 2020. This Executive Order is effective from 24 June 2020 to 31 December 2020.

Conclusion

  • The United States ranked 13th, and Australia ranked 14th on the Average Life Satisfaction Ranking scale. This means people in the USA feel a little more satisfied in life than in Australia.
  • As per the World Happiness Index chart, Australia ranks at 11th on the list. The United States managed to secure the 19th position from the list. Surely Australian people lead a happier life.
  • The best Cities to Live in Australia include Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and many more. The best cities to live in the USA are countless, but surprisingly world-famous USA cities miss this list. Dallas, Denver, Charlotte, Boston, Salt Lake City, and Portland are undoubtedly some fabulous places to live in the USA.
  • Population Density in the United States is 84 residents per square mile. Australia’s population density is only 3.2 people per square kilometre as per the 2016 – 17 survey.
  • According to the Global Economic Competitiveness report, Australia’s score is 78.75 points on a scale of 100 when the USA scored a little better with 83.7 points.
  • Thanks to a strong economic policy, Australia is showing a low Unemployment Rate. The rate is now about 6.8%. In July 2020, America recorded an unemployment rate of 10.2. This means the job market is more stable in Australia.
  • Wages, Racial Discrimination, and Safety: The crime rate is much higher in the USA than in Australia. But the US job market is more open in welcoming immigrant workers. Incidents of racial discrimination and hatred are higher in the USA than in Australia. But these are mostly random incidents.

Conclusion

So, we can say, the United States is ideal for exploring versatile job markets. You can earn well. But if you are looking for more stability in professional life or interested in starting a business, Australia is your destination. The tax rate is pretty higher in Australia. But you will get lots of healthcare and social benefits in Australia. Make a wise comparison and then choose your immigration destination.

Immigration is never easy. Don’t worry. We are here to help you. Our team of well-capable and experienced immigration lawyers will make your immigration journey hiccup-free. The immigration system of any country forces you to complete piles of paper works. Our experts will do that for you. They will be by your side through the process. Just give us a call.

Other FAQs

Is Australia PR better than the USA H1B visa?

AYes. Australian PR is better to have an overall stable and secure life. It also allows you to apply for Australian citizenship. The H1B visa is more suitable for high-skilled job seekers to have an ambitious career in the USA.

Which is the fastest PR visa in Australia?

Contributory Parent is the fastest PR visa in Australia. The processing timeline is as short as 2 – 4 years.

Can an Australian PR visa holder apply for the Australian Passport?

A PR visa holder cannot apply for an Australian passport. Only Australian citizens can do that.

What is an Asylum Seeker?

An asylum seeker is a person who is looking for international protection. He/she might be in danger back in his/her home country. Such people are eligible to apply for protection in their destination country. Asylum seeking application can be made only after arriving at the border of the sheltered country.

Is it worth migrating to Australia or the USA from India?

It is a very personal perspective. It depends on how you treat the ‘worth.’ Both Australia and the USA are known for their high living standards, freedom, carefree lifestyle, impeccable healthcare, world-class educational, and attractive social benefits.

How many Indians stay in Australia?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' 2016 census, 619,164 people in Australia were with Indian ancestry. They make about 2.8% of the Australian population.

Can I be a dual citizen of the US and Australia?

Yes. You can be a dual citizen of Australia and the USA at the same time.

What is the easiest way to get a USA Green Card?

We are listing here the easiest pathways to get a USA Green Card –

  • Family-Sponsored Preference Categories
  • Employment-Based Preference Categories
  • Diversity Visa Immigration Lottery Program

Topics: Migrate, USA

Umang
Umang

A canada PR visa holder himself, Umang is the settlement manager who assists clients with post-landing services and job search.

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