Protection visa (subclass 866)

Sunday 5 November 2023


The Protection Visa (Subclass 866) serves as a pathway to permanent residency in Australia for individuals who have arrived in the country on a valid visa and are seeking asylum. This article aims to provide comprehensive information about the process, requirements, benefits, and obligations associated with the Protection Visa (Subclass 866).


Applying for the Protection Visa (Subclass 866) involves a specific process. The initial step is to submit an online application through ImmiAccount, the designated platform for immigration applications. Once the application is submitted, applicants will receive an acknowledgment letter confirming the receipt of their application. It is important to note that the processing of Protection Visa applications is intricate and may require considerable time.


To be eligible for the Protection Visa (Subclass 866), applicants must fulfill certain requirements, which include:

  1. Engaging Australia's protection obligations: Applicants must be recognized as refugees or meet the complementary protection criteria outlined in the Migration Act 1958. Australia does not repatriate individuals if there is a risk of harm in their home country.
  2. Arriving legally in Australia: Applicants must have arrived in Australia on a valid visa and cleared immigration upon arrival. Unauthorized maritime arrivals are not eligible to apply for this visa.
  3. Meeting health requirements: Applicants must undergo health examinations conducted by Bupa Medical Visa Services to ensure the protection of their own health and that of the Australian community.
  4. Meeting character requirements: Applicants must meet specific character requirements, including providing police certificates from countries where they have resided for 12 months or more since turning 16 years old.
  5. Signing the Australian Values Statement: Applicants aged 18 years or older must confirm that they have read or been explained the Life in Australia booklet and agree to respect the Australian way of life and abide by Australian laws.


Once granted the Protection Visa (Subclass 866), individuals can enjoy several benefits, including:

  1. Permanent residence in Australia: This visa allows individuals to permanently live, work, and study in Australia.
  2. Access to government services: Visa holders can avail themselves of various government services such as Medicare and Centrelink services.
  3. Sponsorship of eligible family members: Visa holders can sponsor eligible family members for permanent residence through the offshore Humanitarian Program.
  4. Travel to and from Australia: The visa permits visa holders to travel to and from Australia for a period of 5 years. After 5 years, a Resident Return Visa (subclass 155) or (subclass 157) is required for re-entry.
  5. Pathway to Australian citizenship: If eligible, visa holders can apply for Australian citizenship after a specific period of time.
  6. Free English language classes: Eligible visa holders can attend English language classes at no cost to improve their language skills.


Visa holders and their accompanying family members are required to comply with all Australian laws while residing in the country. Failure to adhere to Australian laws may result in visa cancellation. It is crucial for visa holders to fully understand and abide by the conditions and obligations associated with their visa.


The Protection Visa (Subclass 866) provides individuals who have arrived in Australia on a valid visa and are seeking asylum with the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in the country. By meeting the necessary requirements and fulfilling Australia's protection obligations, applicants can secure a pathway to permanent residency and enjoy the numerous benefits and opportunities that come with it.

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