What is the Pacific Engagement Visa?

In 2024, the Australian government will introduce a new permanent residence program. Under this program it will introduce a new subclass 192 – Pacific Engagement Visa.

The Pacific Engagement Visa will be a new permanent resident visa program for participating countries across the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

How will it work?

Each year up to 3,000 visas, inclusive of partners and dependent children, will be allocated to Pacific islanders from participating countries through a random electronic ballot process. Those selected in the ballot will be able to apply for permanent residence in Australia.

Who can participate in the ballot process?

Eligible countries could 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 for each country will be based on several factors including population size, diaspora in Australia, existing migration opportunities, expected demand and participating country views.

Allocations will be a decision for the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Pacific Engagement Visa, primary applicants will need to:

  • be aged between 18 to 45 to enter the ballot
  • be selected through the ballot process
  • 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.

Applicants can include a partner and legally dependent children in their application.

How much will it cost?

The charge for entering the ballot is expected to be $25. Applicants selected through the ballot will be able to apply for the visa within a specified timeframe. This will require paying the associated visa application charge.

Is this a permanent residence program?

Yes. This visa is a permanent resident visa and therefore applicants will be free to choose where they live, work and study in Australia. There are no restrictions on work location, industry/type of work or employer.

How is this program different from Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme?

The PALM scheme is a demand driven temporary migration program allowing workers to take up jobs in Australia, develop their skills and send income home to support their families and communities.

Through the PALM scheme, Pacific and Timor-Leste workers take up a range of short term (up to 9 months) and long-term job opportunities (one to four years) in unskilled, low and semi-skilled positions, enabling them to develop skills and send income home to support their families and communities.

The Pacific Engagement Visa will be a new permanent resident visa program for participating countries across the Pacific and Timor-Leste. An electronic system will randomly select entrants. Successful entrants and their immediate family will be able to apply for a PEV.

PALM scheme workers on valid temporary visas will be eligible to register for the ballot.