Individuals and Travellers

Transitional visa arrangements for former holders of Norfolk Island immigration permits and residents

On 1 July 2016, all non-citizens who held the following permits or were residents of Norfolk Island under the Norfolk Island Immigration Act 1980 (NI Act) were taken to have been granted comparable Australian visas:

  • a temporary entry permit (TEP)
  • a general entry permit (GEP)
  • an unrestricted entry permit (UEP)
  • permanent residency.

This arrangement was made under the Norfolk Island Legislation (Migration) Transitional Rule 2016. For more information refer to the Transitional Rule’s Explanatory Statement.

The transitional visa arrangements include a pathway to Australian permanent residence for non-citizens who were ordinarily residents in Norfolk Island at the end of 30 June 2016. The effect of the transitional arrangements provides comparable rights and benefits to affected Norfolk Island non-citizen permit holders and residents to those afforded under the repealed NI Act. These transitional visa arrangements were made to ensure that non-citizen permit holders and residents in Norfolk Island, and the island’s economy, are not disadvantaged by a change in their immigration status as a result of the Norfolk Island governance reforms.

Deemed visa for former holders of a temporary entry permit or general entry permit

If you were a non-citizen in Norfolk Island at the end of 30 June 2016, you were taken to have been granted a Provisional Resident Return visa (subclass 159) if at the end of 30 June 2016, you held any of the following permits under the repealed NI Act:

  • a TEP
  • a GEP

and you did not hold a permanent visa under the Migration Act 1958 (Migration Act).

Your deemed Subclass 159 visa can only be in effect until the end of 30 June 2017 (whether or not it is taken to have come into effect before that day).

If you want to continue to live and work in Norfolk Island beyond 30 June 2017, you will need to apply for another Subclass 159 visa or another visa with ‘work rights’ before the end of 30 June 2017 and be granted that visa.

If you held a temporary Australian visa concurrently with your TEP or GEP at the end of 30 June 2016, your existing temporary visa will continue to be in effect, except if your existing temporary visa is one of the following.

  • Visitor visa (subclass 600)
  • Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601)
  • eVisitor (subclass 651).

This means that, although you were granted a Subclass 159 visa, your existing temporary visa (if it is not a subclass 600, 601 or 651) will be the visa in effect, and not your Subclass 159 visa. This arrangement is made to ensure that you continue to hold a visa which might be more beneficial for your circumstances.

If your existing temporary visa ceases on or before 30 June 2017 and you have not applied for and been granted another visa, your Subclass 159 visa will come into effect up until the end of 30 June 2017.

If you want to continue to live and work in Norfolk Island beyond 30 June 2017, you will need to apply for another Subclass 159 visa or another visa with ‘work rights’ before the end of 30 June 2017 and be granted that visa.

If the visa period of your existing temporary visa ceases after 30 June 2017, you can choose to remain on this visa, or apply for another visa before this visa expires. If you intend to continue to live and work in Norfolk Island beyond the period of that visa, you will need to apply for and be granted a visa that will allow you to do that. You could also choose to apply for another Subclass 159 before the end of 30 June 2017, even if your existing temporary visa ceases after 30 June 2017.

Subclass 159 imposes visa condition 8549(2). This means that you are allowed to live and work only in Norfolk Island for the period your visa is granted. However, you will be allowed to live elsewhere in Australia for the purpose of study if you:

  • have not turned 25
  • are a dependent child of a person who is ordinarily resident in Norfolk Island
  • meet, or met, the requirements of condition 8105, relating to students engaging in work
    Note: condition 8105 is not imposed on this visa.

You will need to apply for another type of visa if you want to live and work elsewhere in Australia.

Deemed visa for former holders of an unrestricted entry permit (New Zealand citizens)

If you were a New Zealand citizen who held an unrestricted entry permit (UEP) under the repealed NI Act at the end of 30 June 2016, and did not hold a permanent visa under the Migration Act, you were taken to have been granted a Special Category visa (subclass 444) (SCV).

If you held a temporary Australian visa concurrently with your UEP at the end of 30 June 2016, your existing temporary visa will continue to be in effect, except if your existing temporary visa is one of the following.

  • Visitor visa (subclass 600)
  • Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601)
  • eVisitor (subclass 651).

This means that, although you were deemed an SCV, your existing temporary visa (if it is not a subclass 600, 601 or 651) will be the visa in effect, and not your deemed SCV. This visa arrangement is made to ensure that you continue to hold a visa which might be more beneficial for your circumstances. However, as a New Zealand citizen, you can choose to apply for an SCV instead of continuing with your existing temporary visa.

If your existing temporary visa expires and you have not applied for and been granted another visa, your deemed SCV will come into effect. Your SCV will only be in effect while you are in Australia (which includes Norfolk Island). It will cease to be in effect when you leave Australia.

You can also choose to apply for another visa before your existing temporary visa expires. If you intend to continue to live and work in Norfolk Island beyond the period of that visa, you will need to apply for and be granted a visa that will allow you to do that.

Deemed visa for residents (permanent) of Norfolk Island

If you were a resident of Norfolk Island under the repealed NI Act at the end of 30 June 2016, you were taken to have been granted Confirmatory Residence visa (subclass 808) if any of the following conditions apply.

You:

  • did not hold a permanent visa under the Migration Act at the end of 30 June 2016
  • held a Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island (subclass 834) visa under the Migration Act at the end of 30 June 2016.

Subclass 808 visa is a permanent visa allowing you to live and work anywhere in Australia as a permanent resident. It allows you to travel to and enter Australia for a period of five years.

Pathway to permanent residence for former holders of Norfolk Island immigration permits

A pathway to Australian permanent residence is provided for those non-citizens who were ordinarily residents in Norfolk Island prior to 1 July 2016. This is a one-off arrangement for existing permit holders as at the end of 30 June 2016 and does not apply to new arrivals in Norfolk Island after this date.

Former holders of Norfolk Island immigration permits, and their dependent children, might be eligible to apply for a Confirmatory Residence visa (subclass 808).