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How to apply for a Protection visa in Australia?

Managing Associate (Lawyer)
January 29, 2024
minute read

In Australia, a protection visa (subclass 866) serves as a crucial lifeline for individuals facing persecution or danger in their home countries. A protection visa is a category of visa designed to afford protection within Australia to refugees and individuals eligible for complementary protection as recognized by the Australian government. It allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely where you can work or study, receive Medicare and Centrelink benefits, sponsor eligible relatives, and eventually apply for Australian Citizenship.

Am I eligible for a Protection visa?

Below is the eligibility criteria for Protection visas. If you’re unsure whether you meet this criteria, you can contact us at Australian Migration Lawyers to discuss your personal circumstances.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a protection visa, you must meet the specific eligibility criteria listed below:

  • Arrival on a valid visa: You must have arrived in Australia legally on a valid visa, such as a visitor visa, student visa, or work visa.
  • Engagement of protection obligations: You must be a refugee or a person who is owed complementary protection by Australia. 
  • You must sign Australia’s value statement.
  • You must not hold or ever held any of the visas listed :Temporary Protection visa (subclass 785), Temporary Safe Haven visa (subclass 449), Temporary (Humanitarian Concern) visa (subclass 786); or Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790)
  • You must not have previously been denied a protection visa in Australia, or have had a cancelled protection visa.
  • Other requirements: You must also meet health, character, security, and identity checks. You must apply for this visa before your current visa expires.

The application process

It’s important to understand the application process of applying for a Protection visa as the quality of the application can lead to the likelihood of obtaining the desired outcome.

Below is a list of steps in the application process. Working with us at Australian Migration Lawyers means that your undertaking of the below steps is guided and supported by legal professionals with knowledge in the area of migration law. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you.

1. Gather Essential Documents

A successful protection visa application relies heavily on comprehensive supporting documents. You must collect essential paperwork such as proof of identity, evidence of persecution, and any other documentation supporting your claims. Ensure that all documents are accurate, truthful and complete, as your application will be assessed based on the information you provide, and any discrepancies may impact the decision-making process.

2. Seek Professional Advice

Navigating the legal intricacies of the protection visa application process can be challenging. Seeking professional advice from a migration lawyer ensures that you have a clear understanding of the requirements and can help you avoid potential pitfalls. 

3. Have required documents reviewed by an experience Australian Migration Lawyer

Provide your Australian Migration Lawyer with the necessary documents to support your application. Be prepared to provide a detailed account of your circumstances and reasons for seeking protection.

4. Pay the Fees

Please note that your application will not be processed until the fee has been paid. Keep a record of your Transaction Reference Number (TRN) for future reference. Your Australian Migration Lawyer will issue you an invoice for the professional legal fees.


Book consultation

If you are interested in getting more information about a Protection visa, get in touch with Australian Migration Lawyers for a consultation.


What happens after I apply?

Once the Department of Home Affairs has received your application, an acknowledgment letter detailing your next steps will be sent to your Australian Migration Lawyer. The next steps include:

Health Assessments

You will be provided with a health identifier and instructions on how to schedule your health examinations. It is essential to promptly attend any necessary medical examinations.


Biometrics, including a digital photograph of your face and a scan of your fingerprints, are required for you and any family members included in the application. 


Protection visa applications normally require attending protection visa interviews with immigration officials. The interview serves as a platform to discuss your protection visa application in detail and provides you with the opportunity to clarify any claims made in your initial submission. It is crucial to attend your scheduled interview, as the Department of Home Affairs reserve the right to make a decision on your protection visa application based on the information available at that time. Therefore, proactive communication and attendance at the interview stage play a pivotal role in ensuring a comprehensive and fair assessment of your application.

When attending the interview for your protection visa application, it's essential to know who can accompany you for support. If you have sought the assistance of an Australian Migration Lawyer, they can attend the interview alongside you to provide you with valuable support and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the interview process.

Common mistakes to avoid

When applying for protection visas, applicants frequently make mistakes that can impact the success of their applications. Such mistakes include providing incomplete or inaccurate information, neglecting required documents, or misunderstanding eligibility criteria. To avoid these issues, applicants should carefully review guidelines, seek professional legal advice, and ensure the thoroughness of their written and oral evidence.

Application essentials

Applying for a protection visa in Australia demands diligence, accuracy, and adherence to guidelines. If eligible, this process offers a pathway to safety and security in the country. By understanding eligibility criteria, navigating the application process, and avoiding common mistakes, applicants can increase their chances of a successful outcome. If you have any questions or need professional assistance, our Australian migration lawyers are here to guide you through every step of the way. 

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