The Australian government has introduced the Pacific Engagement Visa (“PEV”).
Eligible applicants will enter a ballot process and there are 3,000 permanent Australian visas to be granted annually. Applicants must satisfy certain eligibility criteria to secure an invitation to apply for the PEV.
The PEV is a new permanent visa which provides access to permanent residence in Australia for specific Pacific Islander and Timor-Leste applicants.
The eligible countries are likely to include Micronesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga. Only general criteria for eligible countries have been announced at this stage, being based on factors including “population size, diaspora in Australia, existing migration opportunities and expected demand”.
Eligibility criteria will include:
- being aged between 18 to 45 to enter the ballot, and being selected through the ballot;
- securing (or an applicant’s spouse/partner securing) a formal ongoing job offer in Australia;
- meeting English language, character and health checks;
- holding a passport for a participating country; and
- having been born in, or have a parent who was born in, an eligible country.
Consideration will also be given to the availability of other migration and citizenship pathways for Pacific residents to the United States, New Zealand and France.
The Government’s migration and broader diplomatic strategies indicate and emphasis on growth in the Pacific and Timor-Leste region. As a result, employers are likely to find that there will be additional pathways opening for Pacific and Timor-Leste migrants.
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