Individuals and Travellers

Provisional Resident Return visa (subclass 159)

Features

​​This visa information is for former holders of Norfolk Island immigration permits.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you were a former holder of a Norfolk Island immigration temporary or general entry permit, or their dependent children
  • you make a visa application before 1 July 2017, unless there are compelling reasons for granting the visa.

About this visa​

This information is only for former holders of Norfolk Island immigration permits, or their dependent children, who apply for a Subclass 159 visa.

The Provisional Resident Return visa (subclass 159)  is a temporary visa for non-citizens in Norfolk Island who held a Temporary Entry Permit (TEP) or General Entry Permit (GEP) on 30 June 2016 under the repealed Norfolk Island Immigration Act 1980 , or their dependent children.

This visa lets you live and work only in Norfolk Island for six years and six months from the date of visa grant or until the end of 31 December 2023, whichever occurs first. You can also live elsewhere in Australia for study purposes under certain conditions. After you meet the residence requirement in Norfolk Island, you might be eligible to apply for a Confirmatory (Residence) visa (subclass 808).

If you are eligible for this visa, you will need to submit your visa application before 1 July 2017, unless there are compelling reasons for granting the visa.

For detailed information about transitional visa arrangements on 1 July 2016 for non-citizens in Norfolk Island refer to Norfolk Island.

Only Australian citizens have an automatic right of entry to Australia. All non-citizens need a visa that allows them to enter and remain in Australia.

What this visa lets you do

The subclass 159 visa is a temporary visa with a travel facility to and from Australia. This visa is valid for six years and six months or until the end of 31 December 2023, whichever occurs first. It allows you to live and work only in Norfolk Island for the same period from the date it is granted. However, you will be allowed to live elsewhere in Australia for the purpose of study if all of the following apply:

  • you have not turned 25
  • you are a dependent child of a person who is ordinarily resident in Norfolk Island
  • you 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.

If you are a holder of a Subclass 159 visa you might also be eligible to apply for a permanent Confirmatory (Residence) visa (subclass 808) , which is a permanent visa, after meeting the residence requirement of having lived in Norfolk Island for five out of the last seven years.

Before you apply

Your passport

You need a valid passport. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. You might be able to update your passport details using ImmiAccount.

Cost

Visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

Visa applicants

If you are granted a Subclass 159 visa, you will cease to hold your current visa.

Who could get this visa?

If you are a former holders of a Norfolk Island immigration permit, you might be able to be granted this visa if:

  • on 30 June 2016, you held any of the following permits granted under the repealed Norfolk Island Immigration Act 1980:
    • a temporary entry permit (TEP)
    • a general entry permit (GEP).

If you are a dependent child of a former holder of aTEP or GEP who was born outside Norfolk Island on or before 30 June 2016, you might be able to be granted this visa if all of the following apply:

  • on 30 June 2016 you did not hold a TEP or GEP
  • you are a dependent child of a parent, other than an adoptive parent, who held a TEP or GEP on 30 June 2016
  • your application is made before 1 July 2017, unless there are compelling reasons for granting the visa.

If you are a dependent child, you might be able to be granted this visa as a secondary applicant if all of the following apply:

  • you were born in Australia on or after 1 July 2016
  • you are a dependent child of a parent who is a former holder of a TEP or GEP, or a dependent child of such a person
  • you made a combined application with your parent’s application.

Newborn children

If you give birth to a child in Australia, you must tell us as soon as possible. To do this:

Outside Australia: if your child is born outside Australia and either parent is an Australian citizen at the time of the child’s birth, the child might be eligible for Australian citizenship by descent.

In Australia: If your child is born in Australia, they are automatically granted the same visa you and your partner hold at the time of the child’s birth. If either parent is an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident at the time of the child’s birth, the child might be an Australian citizen by birth.

For more information, see: including family members in your application.

Character and Police Certificate requirements

Applicants for this visa must be of good character and will be assessed against the character test requirements as set out under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958​.

As part of your Subclass 159 visa application, you might be required to provide a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy the character test requirements. A visa could be refused or cancelled where you do not declare your criminal history or where you do not pass the character requirements.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The health examinations you need will depend on your personal circumstances, including your intended activities in Australia. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months. ​

How to apply

You can be inside or outside of Australia when you make your application, and when we decide your application.

Note: If you apply for a Subclass 159 visa before 1 July 2017, you should also apply for a Bridging visa A (BVA).

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

Document checklist

You must provide documents to support your application for this visa. Use the Provisional Resident Return visa (subclass 159) document checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Lodge your appl​​i​​cation by post

Complete the following application form to apply for this visa.

You can lodge your Subclass 159 visa using one of the following methods:

​Post​​Courier service
Norfolk Island Visa Application
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
GPO Box ​9984
Sydney NSW 2001.
Norfolk Island Visa Application
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
26 Lee Street
Sydney NSW 2000.

You can pay by credit card, bank cheque or money order made payable to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.​

Applying for a ​​Bridging visa A (BVA)

If you are worried that your current visa will expire before your subsequent visa is granted, you should consider lodging an application for a BVA.

A BVA is a temporary visa. It allows you to remain lawfully in Australia after your current substantive visa ends and while your new substantive visa application is being processed. A substantive visa is any visa that is not a bridging visa, or a criminal justice visa, or an enforcement visa.

A BVA can be granted if you lodge an application in Australia for a new substantive visa while you hold a substantive visa. ​​

​​More information

Refer to preparing your application​, for information on certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiv​ing assistance with your application.​​​

After you have applied

After you have lodged your application and documents, we will acknowledge that we have received your information.

You can track and manage your application using ImmiAccount. If you applied by paper application you can import your application into ImmiAccount.

Wait for a decision

We have visa processing times for each visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character checks, if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Outside Australia

If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa. Wait for a decision from us before you leave your job, sell your home or book your travel.

In Australia

If you apply for this visa in Australia, you could be eligible for a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in Australia lawfully while your application is processed. If you are granted a Bridging visa A, you can apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB) to travel outside Australia while you wait for a decision.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we might be able to make a decision about your application using the information that we have available.

You might be able to provide additional information, after you make your visa application, including a completed Form 1023, using ImmiAccount​.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in circumstances

If you get a new passport you should let us know so we can link it to your visa.​

You can use Form 929 - Change of address and/or passport details (86KB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.​

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and might be denied permission to board your plane.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include your file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

All applicants 18 years of age or older, wishing to withdraw, must sign the request for withdrawal.

Visa Decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any).
  • the time limit for seeking review.

Visa holders

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)​ for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

How long your visa lists

This visa may be in effect for six years and six months or until the end of 31 December 2023, whichever occurs first. You may travel to and enter Australia on this visa during this time.

What this visa lets you do

The Subclass 159 visa is a temporary visa with a travel facility to and from Australia. It allows you to live and work only in Norfolk Island for the period of your visa. However, you will be allowed to live elsewhere in Australia for the purpose of study if all of the following apply:

  • you have not turned 25
  • you are a dependent child of a person who is ordinarily resident in Norfolk Island
  • you 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.

If you are a holder of a Subclass 159 visa you might also be eligible to apply for a permanent Confirmatory (Residence) visa Subclass 808, which is a permanent visa, after meeting the residence requirement of having lived in Norfolk Island for five out of the last seven years.

Report changes in circumstances

If you get a new passport you should let us know so we can link it to your visa.​

You can use Form 929 - Change of address and/or passport details (86KB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.​

Document Checklist Tool

Select information relevant to you. Leave fields blank if you are not sure.

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Estimate the cost of your visa

* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The following Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.