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Papua New Guinea visa Australia

Associate - Australian Migration Lawyer
May 7, 2024
minute read

The Australian Papua New Guinea Protection visa

Papua New Guinean immigration to Australia has a complex history. Prior to independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea nationals had Australian citizenship that provided free movement between the states. However, following independence, this arrangement ceased and resulted in lower levels of immigration, now defined by Papua New Guineans coming to Australia for education, employment and humanitarian reasons. As a result, the community has now slowly grown to just under 30,000 people.

Due to ongoing domestic events within the state, there are various reasons for why PNG nationals may be able to seek a protection visa within Australia. Recently, PNG has faced civil unrest and rioting across the country due to several significant political controversies, including the underpayment of public service staff, communal conflict and the suspension of the national parliament. This has produced extremely violent conditions for the public, with a state of emergency being called in January 2024 where the military was called in to quell dissent. These events have only further compounded ongoing economic and sanitation concerns within PNG, with infrastructure projects aiming to improve living conditions largely failing to make any considerable progress. While it appears that some stability is returning to PNG, there are still several critical issues that need to be resolved within the state.

These circumstances may provide the basis for PNG applicants to seek protection within Australia. The following sections will outline the various visa types that are available.

How do you apply for a protection visa as a Papua New Guinea national in Australia?

Eligibility criteria for Papua New Guinea protection visas:

Papua New Guinean nationals have several avenues to seek protection within Australia through different visa types.

For Papua New Guinean nationals already in Australia, they may be eligible for a subclass 866 visa. To qualify for this visa, they must demonstrate that due to their race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group, they face a well-founded fear of persecution. This visa is only available for Papua New Guinean nationals already in Australia and is intended to extend protection for those already in Australia. If granted, the visa will permit them to remain in Australia after the expiry of their original entry visa.

Alternatively, for Papua New Guinean nationals outside Australia, protection may still be sought by applying under the Offshore Humanitarian stream (form 842). Applicants must provide evidence of a well-founded fear of persecution within PNG. Applicants must be outside Australia to apply for this stream.

Moreover, applicants may also qualify for protection under the Global Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 202). Applicants from Papua New Guinea must demonstrate that they face discrimination that would amount to a gross violation of their human rights within PNG and require an Australian citizen, resident, or organisation to propose their visa. Immediate family members can propose the applicant, but specific eligibility requirements apply. These proposers have important responsibilities for the applicant’s immigration, including paying for the applicant’s travel to Australia if they are unable. Applicants must apply for this visa from outside Australia.

Applicants must also meet various other requirements, including health, character, and security assessments, as well as signing a statement agreeing to uphold Australian values.


Book a Consultation

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

Supporting documentation

Identity Documents:

  • Passport with personal details.
  • National identity card.
  • Proof of name change.

Humanitarian Circumstances:

  • Registration with refugee organisations.
  • Statement explaining reasons for leaving home country.

Visas or Residence Permits:

  • Certified copies of current visas or permits.

Relationship Documents:

  • Certified copies of marriage certificates or registrations.


  • Passport-size photographs per applicant.

Application Forms:

  • Refugee and humanitarian proposal forms.

Character Documents:

  • Military service records (if applicable).

Notification of Assistance:

  • Immigration assistance forms.

Dependents' Documents:

  • Identity documents.
  • Relationship proof.
  • Visas or permits.
  • Marriage certificates or registrations.
  • Character documents (if applicable).


  • Translation of non-English documents into English.

Document Preparation for Online Applications:

  • Colour scans or photos of documents.
  • Clarity and labelling.
  • Consolidation of multi-page documents.
  • Sponsorship and travel assistance documentation.

Lodging a Papua New Guinea protection visa 

There are multiple ways protection visa applications can be lodged. It is advisable, where possible, for applicants to utilise the designated online portal, submitting documents and forms there as it is a seamless and efficient process. Alternatively, paper applications can be lodged by posting them to the Special Humanitarian Processing Centre at the Department of Home Affairs in Sydney, NSW, whose postal address is GPO Box 9984, Sydney, NSW 2001.

While applicants are advised by the Australian High Commission of PNG that the Department remains the primary point of contact for applications, the Commission's office in Port Moresby manages parts of and can assist in the visa process.

Papua New Guinea visa compliance and conditions

If a PNG applicant is successfully granted a protection visa, various conditions will apply including:

Stay and Living Rights:

  • Live, work and study in Australia permanently (beginning upon entry).
  • Enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme (Medicare).
  • If eligible, propose family members for permanent residence.
  • If eligible, become an Australian citizen.


  • Enter Australia before the specified initial arrival date.
  • Obey all Australian laws.
  • Notify the Department of any situational changes .
  • Subclass 866 visas have a travel condition attached (Travel Condition 8559).


  • Subclass 866 applicants must pay $45.
  • There is no visa application charge for the other two visa types specified above unless applicants are proposed under the Community Support Program.


  • Applicants are responsible for arranging initial travel to Australia.
  • Travel to and from Australia for 5 years (after 5 years a Resident Return visa is required).

Papua New Guinean nationals who receive a protection visa should be aware of the variety of programs which are available to them. These cover a range of areas including an introduction to Australia’s history and culture, English language and resettlement support.

The processing time for a Papua New Guinea visa

Following the submission of an application, various factors can impact the processing time for a protection visa. While the Department strives for efficient processing and prompt decision-making, delays can inevitably occur, including for when the Department needs to verify aspects of the application. Given the unique circumstances surrounding each case and the fact that protection visas are assessed individually, it can be challenging to predict the exact duration of the application process.

Applicants should be aware that once a visa application has been lodged, they are not able to contact the Department directly to receive an update on the status of their visa.

Engaging with Australian Migration Lawyers for success

While applicants from PNG have the autonomy to proceed with their visa applications independently, seeking support from an Australian Migration Lawyer can greatly benefit their chances of success. Australian Migration Lawyers possess extensive experience in assisting applicants through the application process, boasting a deep understanding of the Australian immigration system. Their guidance can ensure that applications are compliant and include all relevant documentation to minimise the risk of any delays. Additionally, an Australian Migration Lawyer will be proficient in navigating any legal complexities that may arise, helping increase the likelihood of a successful application and easing the burden of seeking protection for PNG applicants.

Supporting evidence for your application and assistance

On top of the various documentation required for any visa application, for Papua New Guinean applicants seeking protection in Australia, they must also provide a statement with details related to the well-founded fear of persecution that they are facing. The statement should clearly outline a chronological timeline of events, the source of threats or harm that was faced, and any evidence of attempts to receive assistance. If applicable, applicants should also detail the circumstances in which they left Papua New Guinea. Providing concrete instances of persecution rather than generalised descriptions of Papua New Guinea’s hazards is critical, and applicants should avoid embellishing information, as the Department will verify the authenticity of an applicant’s claims. Where possible, applicants should also include any supporting documents for this statement.

If applicants are seeking protection with others, each individual should make a separate statement.

The Papua New Guinea protection visa interview

As a part of the application process, Papua New Guinean applicants may be required to participate in a formal interview organised and conducted by the Department. Prior to the interview, applicants should review all of the information that they have provided and approach the interview with a commitment to honesty. If any of the applicant’s circumstances have changed or if they become aware of any mistakes, they should contact the Department promptly. During the interview, the Department will look at various aspects of the application and may ask questions in relation to things like the applicant’s identity or credibility. Any concerns that the Department has in relation to the application will likely be raised during this interview, and any requests to provide information should be complied with by the applicant. If necessary, seeking guidance from an Australian Migration Lawyer can prove beneficial for applicants both for preparing for the interview and navigating any subsequent communications with the Department.

Managing administrative processes

The process for seeking a protection visa from Australia can be time-consuming with several different steps. For Papua New Guinea nationals, it is crucial to carefully consider which visas they are eligible for before applying, rather than applying for multiple visas without any direction. Applicants will then need to gather all of the necessary documents and fill out the required forms before submitting them to the Department. This includes documents for partners or dependents. After submission, applicants may need to undergo further requirements, including health exams, interviews, and the collection of biometric data. An applicant should notify the Department of any changes relating to their application. Once a decision has been made, the Department will contact the applicant promptly. While this can be a daunting process for some applicants, engaging an Australian Migration Lawyer can help to simplify the process and increase the likelihood of a successful protection claim.

Specific advice for your case

For Papua New Guinean applicants, navigating the visa application process can be challenging despite the wealth of information available to assist them. Seeking personalised advice tailored to an applicant’s unique circumstances can significantly help enhance any prospects of success. Australian Migration Lawyers offer initial consultations specifically designed to explore the array of visa options available to applicants and provide the opportunity for applicants to receive ongoing support. Only through engaging in one-on-one discussions with applicants and through understanding their case can an Australian Migration Lawyer gain the required understanding of an applicant's needs to provide the most effective advice possible.


Legal representation in appeals and reviews

For Papua New Guinean applicants, navigating the visa application process can be challenging despite the wealth of information available to assist them. Seeking personalised advice tailored to an applicant’s unique circumstances can significantly enhance any prospects of success. Australian Migration Lawyers offer initial consultations specifically designed to explore the array of visa options available to applicants and provide the opportunity for applicants to receive ongoing support. Only through engaging in one-on-one discussions with applicants and understanding their case can an Australian Migration Lawyer gain the required understanding of an applicant's needs to provide the most effective advice possible.

Possible changes to Papua New Guinea immigration policies

Papua New Guinean applicants should recognize the ever-evolving nature of Australia’s immigration processes, where domestic and international factors can influence the Australian Government. Predicting future changes can be challenging, therefore it is important that applicants are aware of any updates or changes released by the Department and the impacts this may have on their application. An Australian Migration Lawyer can be of assistance in navigating any changes that may occur, as they have access to relevant information that may affect a Papua New Guinean national’s claim. Being aware of these changes and seeking legal advice can be instrumental in heightening the prospects of success for any application.

Guidance from Australian Migration Lawyers

Papua New Guinean applicants may find that Australia’s immigration processes can be difficult and stress-inducing, especially considering the circumstances they may be currently facing within Papua New Guinea. While applicants are able to seek protection on their own, support and guidance from an Australian Migration Lawyer can help them navigate this process. Australian Migration Lawyers are experienced in assisting applicants pursuing a protection visa and can support them through the entire process. By involving an Australian Migration Lawyer, applicants can have confidence that they have provided themselves with the best opportunity for success.

Australian Migration Lawyers team

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