Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 15:15 GMT

Australia: Follow-up to AUS43384.E of 10 March 2005 on the rights conferred on the holder of a provisional resident visa, and whether the same rights were conferred on holders of a provisional resident visa during the period 3 March 2004 through 29 September 2004; the rights conferred on an individual with temporary resident status, and whether the same rights were conferred on such individuals during the period 3 March 2004 through 29 September 2004; whether persons who have a provisional resident visa or temporary resident status are eligible for Australian citizenship, and if so, the criteria that must be fulfilled and procedures that must be followed (March 2004 - March 2005)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 21 March 2005
Citation / Document Symbol AUS43460.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Australia: Follow-up to AUS43384.E of 10 March 2005 on the rights conferred on the holder of a provisional resident visa, and whether the same rights were conferred on holders of a provisional resident visa during the period 3 March 2004 through 29 September 2004; the rights conferred on an individual with temporary resident status, and whether the same rights were conferred on such individuals during the period 3 March 2004 through 29 September 2004; whether persons who have a provisional resident visa or temporary resident status are eligible for Australian citizenship, and if so, the criteria that must be fulfilled and procedures that must be followed (March 2004 - March 2005) , 21 March 2005, AUS43460.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/42df609d20.html [accessed 31 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

In 14 March 2005 correspondence to the Research Directorate, the High Commission of Australia, in Ottawa, provided the following information:

[t]he term "provisional resident visa" is not used in Australia, however we assume that the question relates to the "Permanent Protection Visa" granted to eligible asylum seekers in Australia. A Permanent Protection Visa provides permanent residence in Australia, and confers all the benefits of permanent residence, including the capacity to apply for citizenship when eligible to do so.

Some of the benefits of permanent residence to which Permanent Protection Visa holders have access include immediate access to the full range of social security benefits available within the community, including access to Medicare, and the ability to sponsor family members living overseas through the Special Humanitarian Program. The Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (IHSS) provides some support to Permanent Protection Visa (PPV) holders through referral for Early Health Assessment and Intervention (EHAI) which helps entrants to overcome physical and psychological health problems.

The High Commission indicated that the above information was valid during the period 3 March 2004 through 29 September 2004 (14 Mar. 2005).

In respect of temporary resident status, the High Commission indicated the following:

[a] Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) provides temporary residence in Australia for three years. TPV holders who believe they are still in need of protection can apply for a further Protection Visa at any time. If assessed as still in need of protection, the person will receive a further Protection Visa, and in many cases this will be permanent.

Temporary Protection Visa holders are provided with access to services which include the following:

work entitlements and Job Matching from Centrelink,

eligibility for Special Benefit, Rent Assistance, Family tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit, Double Orphan Pension, Maternity Allowance and Maternity Immunisation Allowance,

access to Medicare benefits,

eligibility for referral to the Early Health Assessment and Intervention Program, and

eligibility for torture and trauma counseling.

TPV minors are also eligible for the Commonwealth funded English as a Second Language – New Arrival program to assist their participation in school classroom activities.

On 13 July 2004, the Government announced new measures for Temporary Protection Visa holders. The changes acknowledge that some of these people have made strong contributions to Australia, particularly in regional areas, or have established close links with Australians. The new measures commenced on 27 August 2004 and include:

a reintegration assistance package to assist those in Australia who wish to return to their home country to re-establish themselves,

a "Return Pending" visa (RPV) to provide a further 18 months stay for those who are found to no longer be owed protection and have no other lawful basis to remain, to make arrangements to return home, [and]

removal of barriers to apply for a range of non-humanitarian onshore visas.

Information on whether persons who have a provisional resident visa or temporary resident status are eligible for Australian citizenship, and if so, the criteria that must be fulfilled and procedures that must be followed, was provided by the High Commission is as follows:

[p]eople are generally eligible for Australian citizenship when they have been present in Australia as a permanent resident for a total of two years in the previous five years, including 12 months in the two years immediately before they apply. While there are some exceptions, people seeking citizenship must:

be a permanent resident and at least 18 years of age,

be capable of understanding the nature of their citiznehsip application,

have a basic knowledge of the English language,

understand the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship,

be of good character, and

be likely to live permanently in Australia or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia.

Children under 16 years old may be included on a responsible parent's application. The Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has discretion, in some circumstances, to grant citizenship to children aged 16 or 17 who apply in their who apply in their own right.

A holder of a Permanent Protection Visa (PPV) has permanent residence and so can satisfy the first point above if they are over 18 years of age. This means that the person is eligible to apply for Australian citizenship if they meet the other criteria listed.

A holder of a Temporary Protection Visa has temporary residence in Australia for a period of three years, and so does not meet the criteria to apply for Australian citizenship as they are not a permanent resident in Australia. However, if granted a Permanent Protection Visa, they may be eligible to apply for citizenship after two years' residence.

There is in addition, a fee to lodge an application for citizenship, and a concession fee for people on Australian Centrelink or Department of Veterans' Affairs age, wife, disability, support age service and invalidity service pensions, and mature age and mature age (partner) allowance (14 Mar. 2005).

For additional and more detailed information, please refer to the attached "Fact Sheets," which have been issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection.

References

High Commission of Australia, Ottawa. 14 March 2005. Correspondence from the Immigration Section.

Attachments

Australia. 20 January 2005. Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Fact Sheet No. 90. "Australian Citizenship." [Accessed 21 Mar. 2005]
_____. 31 August 2004. Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Fact Sheet No. 64a. "New Measures for Temporary Protection and Temporary Humanitarian Visa Holders." [Accessed 21 Mar. 2005]
_____. 31 August 2004. Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Fact Sheet No. 64c. "Return Pending Visa." [Accessed 21 Mar. 2005]
_____. 24 August 2004. Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Fact Sheet No. 64b. "Reintegration Package for Temporary Protection, Temporary Humanitarian and Return Pending Visa Holders." [Accessed 21 Mar. 2005]
_____. 24 August 2004. Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Fact Sheet No. 64d. "New Onshore Visa Options for Temporary Protection and Temporary Humanitarian Visa Holders." [Accessed 21 Mar. 2005]
_____. 20 November 2003. Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Fact Sheet No. 62. "Assistance for Asylum Seekers in Australia." [Accessed 21 Mar. 2005]
_____. 20 November 2003. Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Fact Sheet No. 64. "Temporary Protection Visas." [Accessed 21 Mar. 2005]
_____. 12 November 2003. Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Fact Sheet No. 61. "Seeking Asylum within Australia." [Accessed 21 Mar. 2005]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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