DILI, 20 october 2023 (TATOLI) – Australian Parliament, on wednesday (18/10) passed new visa legislation to allow up to 3,000 immigrants from Pacific nations to settle permanently in Australia every year.
According to DFAT, the Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV) will increase permanent migration from the Pacific and Timor-Leste, growing the diaspora in Australia, strengthening people-to-people links, and encouraging greater cultural, business, and educational exchange.
The Pacific Engagement Visa is a new permanent resident visa for participating countries across the Pacific and Timor-Leste. Up to 3,000 visas, inclusive of partners and dependent children, will be allocated annually to Pacific and Timor-Leste nationals through a ballot process.
“Up to 3,000 visas will be allocated to Pacific islanders annually by a ballot process across participating countries. Those selected in the ballot will be able to apply for permanent residence in Australia,” said DFAT.
The ballot will commence once all legislative and administrative arrangements for the visa are in place.
DFAT said that 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: “The Australian Government continues to consult Pacific countries and Timor-Leste on their interest in participating in the program.”
“Visa allocations will be based on several factors including population size, diaspora in Australia, existing migration opportunities and expected demand. Allocations will be a decision for the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for International Development and the Pacific.”
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong said that: “The Government is committed to making a uniquely Australian contribution as partner of choice for the countries of the Pacific – demonstrating we are reliable, we turn up, show respect, listen, and are transparent and open.”
Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy said that: “The Pacific Engagement Visa is an important change in our permanent migration system and is an important way of building people-to-people links with the Pacific family and deepening ties to the region that’s our home and critical to our future.”
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles said that: “The Pacific Engagement Visa will deliver on the Government’s commitment to secure our region and build a stronger Pacific Family.”
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins