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Permanent Residency Ballot for Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste

An Australian permanent resident visa will be available to people from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste after it was successfully legislated in Parliament. It is a totally new type of visa that will allow up to 3000 people to live and work in Australia each year. 


The Pacific Engagement (subclass 192) visa came into effect on 29 March 2024. 


Under a random ballot selection process, which has not been used in Australia before but is similar to the US Green Card system, people will be chosen for the visa which the government hopes will strengthen bonds within the Pacific region. Those selected in the ballot will be able to apply for permanent residence in Australia and it includes partners and dependent children. 


Applications for the ballot will be able to be lodged online with the Department of Home Affairs once the ballot opens. The first ballot for the Pacific Engagement visa (PEV) is expected to commence in mid-2024. 


Priority will be given to countries with limited permanent migration opportunities to Australia these include Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. 


Visa allocations will be based factors such as population size, diaspora in Australia, existing migration opportunities, expected demand and participating country views. 


To be eligible primary applicants will need to: 

  • be aged between 18 to 45  

  • be selected through the ballot  

  • secure a formal ongoing job offer in Australia (or their partner/spouse must have a job offer) 

  • meet English language, character and health checks 

  • hold a passport for a participating country 

  • have been born in or have a parent who was born in an eligible country. 


The ballot will employ an electronic random selection process, with those drawn from the ballot able to apply for the Pacific Engagement Visa. The ballot aims to provide transparent access by randomly selecting ballot participants. This includes providing access to the ballot for existing Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme (PALM) workers in Australia. 


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