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Permanent Protection Visa
(subclass 866)


Can I Apply For A Protection (subclass 866) Visa in Australia?

You can apply for this visa if you claim to be an asylum seeker (refugee) in Australia. An asylum seeker is a person who has left his/her home country to flee from persecution and has applied for protection in a third country, such as Australia. This is a permanent visa that allows you to live in Australia permanently if you arrived in Australia on a valid visa (for example, a visitor or student visa, etc.).

Benefits of A Protection Subclass 866 Visa

Once you are granted this visa, you can:

  1. Sponsor eligible family members for permanent residence through Australia’s offshore Humanitarian Program or a Partner visa;

  2. live, work, and study in Australia in peace and security.

  3. You may benefit from free English language classes provided by the Adult Migrant English Program for up to 510 hours.

  4. You can travel to and from Australia without any obstacles and as many times as you want. However, you may be restricted from travelling to the country against which you sought asylum in Australia.

  5. Enroll in Australia’s world-class public health care scheme, which is designed to ensure the best treatment with minimum costs to you.

What Do I Need To Lodge A Protection Visa (subclass 866) Application?

  • You must be inside Australia when you make your Protection Visa (subclass 866) application;

  • You must make specific claims that can satisfy the Visa Officer that you (or any of your close family members) face the risk of severe persecution, inhumane or degrading treatment, torture, or loss of life or liberty upon return to your country;

    • There may be various reasons for persecution. For example, you may face persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or because of your political opinion.

  • You must not have a right to enter and reside in any other country where you can live without fear of persecution, etc.

  • You must claim that you are unable to relocate anywhere in your home country to avoid persecution;

  • You must satisfy the Visa Officer that you are unable, or unwilling to avail the protection of the government in your country or any other body or authority against the above-mentioned risks;

  • You must claim and provide evidence that your risks are genuine and you have a well-founded fear of persecution, etc. in your home country (or country of your usual residence).


  • You must satisfy the Visa Officer that you do not pose any security risk to the Australian community;

  • You have not committed any war crimes or crimes against humanity, etc.

Consider This

  • If you fail to get your Australian Protection Visa application right from the start, it can protract for a long time. Further, you must understand that if your Protection Visa is ultimately refused, then your chances to apply for any other visa will shrink to a great extent. That means you may not be able to apply for any other visa.

  • If you fail to provide all the relevant information in your Protection Visa application, you may be unable to Sponsor certain close family member(s). Also, your visa may be cancelled if that relevant information comes to light after you are granted a Protection Visa.

Practical Tips

  • Securing a Protection Visa (subclass 866) in Australia is generally a daunting task. Satisfying a Visa Officer that you are a genuine asylum seeker requires careful planning. You should collect all the information and evidence that may support your claims of persecution or significant harm in your home country.

  • When completing the application, you must think about why you are expected to make a particular statement.  (Remember: most of the statements and questions in the application are for a reason).

Cost of This Visa

Main Applicant AUD$45


Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Protection (Subclass 866) Visa

- When Can I Apply For a Protection (subclass 866) Visa?

Ideally, you must apply for a Protection visa as soon as possible after your lawful arrival in Australia if you face risks to your life or liberties or threats in your country of residence. However, a Protection visa may be lodged even years after your arrival in Australia if you can satisfy the visa officer that you are a genuine asylum seeker in Australia. Unnecessary and unjustifiable delays in lodging your Protection visa applications can make it challenging for you to secure this visa.

- What Happens if the Department's Case Officer Refuses My Protection Visa Application?

If you believe that the Department's case officer has wrongly refused your Protection visa application, you can challenge the refusal before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). If the AAT agrees with the Department's decision, you can apply to a federal court for Judicial Review if you believe that the AAT's decision is unlawful or affected by a legal error.

- Can I Apply For a Protection Visa Again If My Previous Protection Visa Application Was Refused?

In most cases, a Protection visa applicant cannot apply again for a Protection visa if their Protection visa application was refused since they last entered Australia. Only in exceptional circumstances, the Minister can allow you to make another Protection visa application.

- Can I Apply For Any Other Visa If My Protection Visa Application Has Been Refused?

If you do not currently hold a substantive visa, then there are only certain types of visas that you may be able to apply for after your Protection visa is refused. For instance, you may be able to apply for one of the following visas:

Special Eligibility (residence)

Child (residence)

Partner (temporary)

Partner (residence)

Medical treatment (visitor)

Bridging A

Bridging B

Bridging C

Bridging D

Bridging E

- How Long The Department Takes To Decide a Protection Visa Application?

There are no set rules or timeframes governing the processing of Protection visa applications. Processing may take from a few months to a few years. In our experience, the department decided most of our clients' Protection visa applications between 1 and 2 years. Further, if a Protection visa application is without merit, the Department may dispose of it quite quickly (e.g., within six months).

Need our assistance with your Protection visa application or appeal? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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