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Introducing the Pacific Engagement Visa: A New Opportunity for Permanent Residency in Australia

The Australian government has announced a significant new initiative known as the Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV). This program aims to strengthen the relationship between Australia and its Pacific Island neighbors, including Timor-Leste, by offering a path to permanent residency.

Each year, up to 3,000 visas will be available for individuals from selected countries, along with their partners and dependent children.

Who Can Apply and How?

The PEV program targets citizens of certain Pacific countries and Timor-Leste, emphasizing those with limited opportunities for permanent migration to Australia or rights to citizenship in other nations like New Zealand, France, and the United States.

Eligible countries include the 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.

Applicants must be between 18 and 45 years old and selected through a ballot process, a random electronic selection system. Additionally, they or their partner must secure a formal, ongoing job offer in Australia and meet English language, character, and health requirements. Applicants can include their partner and legally dependent children in their application.

Understanding the Ballot System

The ballot is an electronic, random selection process. Successful entrants and their immediate family members will then have the opportunity to apply for the PEV. The aim is to provide fair and transparent access to the visa program.

There is a charge of $25 to enter the ballot, and registrations are valid for one year. If not selected within that year, applicants must register again for the next ballot.

Costs and Application Process

Selected applicants will need to pay the visa application charge within a specified timeframe after being chosen in the ballot. The exact cost of the visa application will be provided to successful ballot participants, along with detailed instructions on how to apply for the PEV.

Freedom to Live and Work in Australia

Visa holders will have the freedom to choose where they live, work, and study in Australia, with no restrictions on the type of work or employer.

This aspect of the visa ensures flexibility and the opportunity for visa holders to pursue their personal and professional goals in Australia.

Support for New Residents

The Australian government will provide various support measures to ensure a positive settlement experience for PEV holders. This includes assistance in finding employment in Australia and access to benefits that support family raising,

education, and training.

Additionally, services available to all permanent residents, like Medicare and admision to public schools, will be accessible to PEV holders.

How Is This Different from Temporary Programs?

The PEV offers a permanent residency option, unlike temporary migration programs like the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.

While PALM helps meet workforce shortages and supports economic development in the Pacific, the PEV focuses on providing a long-term home in Australia for its participants.


The Pacific Engagement Visa is a groundbreaking initiative that opens up new avenues for Pacific Islanders and Timorese to become integral members of the Australian community. By providing permanent residency through a fair and transparent selection process, the PEV represents a significant step forward in Australia's commitment to its Pacific neighbors. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, start preparing now to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

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