Australian PR
Australian PR can be obtained as little as three years -- Hongkongers are intrigued as they are moving their studies to Australia instead of any other countries Source: Anthony Kwan / POOL / AFP

Hongkongers are flocking for an Australian PR after the country eased immigration rules for residents from the Pearl of the Orient.

The Australian government adjusted their visa regulations in October to enable Hongkongers to obtain permanent residency (PR) in the country in as little as three to four years provided they meet the requirements needed. The programme will be available for applications in March next year.

“We held two webinars to illustrate the pathway in November each with a quota of 150, and they were full after a few hours,” said Willy Kswong, general manager of expo organiser AAS Education Consultancy, to South China Morning Post. Kwong added saying daily inquiries about Australian PR visa streams for the city’s residents had increased by nearly a third since details of the scheme were announced.

Middle-aged Hongkongers, residents in their 30s and 40s were showing an interest in pursuing advanced studies, which was previously not a popular option for master’s degrees, with their ultimate goal of getting an Australian PR to settle down there, Kwong said.

“We have helped a 47-year-old applicant secure a study permit to take a public health course and a 42-year-old mother who was originally applying for a guardian visa to accompany her nine-year-old daughter switch to a student visa leading up to permanent residency after the policy was announced in October,” Kwong said.

Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane require international graduates to stay at least four years before becoming eligible for an Australian PR, while cities such as Perth and Adelaide require three years.