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Article by Angelle Kourkoutsis

The Australian Government recently announced a pathway for Temporary Visa Holders (TPV) (subclass 785) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) (subclass 790) to be granted permanent residency in Australia. The new Resolution of Status (subclass 851) visa was developed with the overarching aim of providing assistance to boat arrivals who meet the refugee requirements outlined in the relevant legislation.

Before the 14th of February 2023, boat arrivals identifying as refugees were prevented by law from lodging a permanent protection visa in Australia as they did not enter Australia on a valid visa and therefore were not immigration cleared. Boat arrivals were offered the opportunity to lodge temporary protection visas, meaning their safety was only protected for a temporary period, a controversial topic, to say the least.

The Subclass 851 visa extends eligibility to refugees who hold TPV and SHEV visas, as well as currently undecided applications for TPV and SHEV visas lodged prior to the 14th of February 2023, which will automatically be converted, allowing for a hassle-free process. Obtaining this visa allows successful individuals to live, work and study in Australia in conjunction with the ability to have access to Medicare, Services Australia and trauma counselling benefits. The visa enables free English language classes for all Subclass 851 visa holders. The Subclass 851 visa also allows the permanent resident to seek Australian citizenship, enable sponsorship for other family members and travel to and from Australia for up to five years.

To be eligible for the Subclass 851 visa, the applicant must be onshore, must not have a recent application or current TPV or SHEV visa cancelled or refused, and must also not be barred from filing a permanent visa application. Additionally, the applicant must meet health, character and security requirements as well as sign the Australian values statement to secure a Subclass 851 visa. The introduction of the Subclass 851 visa is arguably long overdue. The team at Madison Marcus welcomes this positive implementation as it allows boat arrivals the opportunity to call Australia home.

At Madison Marcus, our Global Mobility & Immigration team has assisted numerous refugees with the aim of calling Australia home. Please feel free to schedule a consultation with us today by contacting 131 LAW [131 529]


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