Introducing Subclass 192 – Pacific Engagement Visa

The Australian Government has pledged to introduce the Pacific Engagement visa (PEV), a new permanent resident visa program designed for citizens of participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.

Enhancing Pacific permanent migration to Australia is a key component of our strategy to strengthen ties with the Pacific and contribute to a region characterized by peace and prosperity.

The PEV aims to expand the Pacific diaspora in Australia, fostering stronger people-to-people connections and facilitating increased cultural, business, and educational exchanges.

Scheduled to commence in 2024, the new Subclass 192 – Pacific Engagement visa will allocate up to 3,000 permanent places annually for citizens of participating Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, along with their immediate family members. This initiative is supplementary to Australia’s existing permanent migration program.

PEV Ballot:
The PEV pre-application ballot seeks to ensure equitable access to the PEV for eligible individuals from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste. It achieves this by randomly selecting ballot participants to apply for the visa. The ballot process is transparent and fair, granting equal opportunities regardless of skill level, occupation, or gender.

To be eligible to participate in the visa ballot, individuals must meet specific criteria, including age requirements, nationality from a participating country, and completion of an online registration form along with payment of a registration fee.

PEV Eligibility:
To qualify for the PEV, applicants must:

  • Be randomly chosen through the PEV ballot
  • Fall within the age bracket of 18 to 45 years
  • Hold a formal job offer in Australia
  • Fulfill other visa prerequisites, such as English language proficiency, character assessments, and health checks.

Further details regarding the comprehensive eligibility criteria will be provided before the PEV’s launch in 2024.

Settlement Services:
The Government is committed to offering a range of support and services to assist PEV holders with their settlement in Australia.

PEV holders will benefit from post-arrival settlement assistance through programs such as the Settlement Engagement and Transition Support program, as well as the Adult Migrant English Program managed by the Department of Home Affairs.

Additionally, PEV holders will have access to essential services such as Medicare, government-funded schooling, and higher education opportunities.

Following the passage of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Australia’s Engagement in the Pacific) Bill 2023 in the Australian Parliament on 14 November 2023, eligible PEV holders will gain immediate access to various support programs, including Family Tax Benefit A, Austudy, Youth Allowance (student and apprentice), Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), and VET Student Loans (VSL) programs.

PEV holders will be subject to the standard four-year Newly Arrived Resident Waiting period, similar to other permanent residents, which applies to income support payments, including the Job Seeker payment.

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

25 Jan, 2024

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