Protection (866) Visa

The Protection (866) visa is a permanent visa for people within Australia, who seek protection from Australia as a refugee.

To be eligible for this visa you must:

  • Be in Australia
  • Have not arrived in Australia as an illegal maritime arrival or unauthorised air arrival.

To be granted a Protection visa (subclass 866) you will need to be claiming Australia’s protection and be found to be:

  • are a refugee as defined by the Migration Act 1958, or
  • meet the complementary protection criteria in the Migration Act 1958.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection states that:

According to the Migration Act 1958, refugees are people who are outside their home country and cannot return because they have a well-founded fear of persecution due to their:

  • race
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • nationality
  • membership of a particular social group.

Australia is obliged under the Refugees Convention to provide protection to refugees and to ensure they are not returned to any place where they are likely to face persecution for one of the five grounds under the Migration Act 1958.

Protection can also be provided to people who cannot be returned to their home country because they engage Australia’s complementary protection obligations.

People engage protection in Australia under complementary protection obligations if there is a real risk that if they return to their home country they will suffer any of the following types of significant harm:

  • arbitrary deprivation of life
  • the death penalty
  • torture
  • cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment
  • degrading treatment or punishment.

Australia’s obligation not to return people who might be subject to such harm derives from international human rights treaties to which Australia is a party. These treaties are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).