Refugee and Humanitarian Visas:

 

Australia has historically provided humanitarian responses in the form of permanent and temporary refuge to people suffering from persecution, political unrest and war, and continues to do so. A range of temporary as well as permanent refugee and humanitarian visas are made available each year in Australia’s migration program. The number of applications lodged always far exceeds the number of visas made available each financial year, 13752 permanent refugee and humanitarian visas are set to be granted by the end of 2015 -2016 financial year. It is expected that the number will increase to around 20000 over the next few years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applicants for these onshore visas must be in Australia at the time of application and visa grant, and must lodge their applications from within Australia. 

 

Protection visa subclass 866: 

 

You might be able to get a Protection visa (subclass 866) if all of the following apply:

  • you are claiming Australia’s protection 

  • you meet one of the following criteria:

    • you are a refugee as defined by the Refugees Convention 

    • you meet the Complementary Protection criteria in the Australian Migration Act 1958.

  • you are not barred from lodging a Protection visa application

  • the minister is satisfied that the grant of the visa is in the national interest.

 

Australia’s protection obligations

According to the Refugees Convention, 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 Refugees Convention.

 

Protection can also be provided to people found not to be refugees under the Refugees Convention, but 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).

 

Assistance to Persons Seeking Onshore Protection Visas 

Persons applying for protection visas in Australia are granted an associated bridging visa with the application. This will ensure they remain lawful throughout the visa processing period. 

 

The applicant’s entitlements, including permission to work, will depend on the type of bridging visa granted. 

  • A Protection visa applicant who makes their application whilst still holding a substantive visa and is eligible for a bridging visa A or B will be granted permission to work on their bridging visa. 

  • Applicants who are unlawful non-citizens, or do not hold a substantive visa and are eligible for a bridging visa C will need to apply for a change of condition i.e. apply for permission to work and will need to establish that they have a compelling need to work. 

  • Unlawful applicants who are only eligible for a bridging visa E (i.e. they have been detained by DIBP) will need to apply for permission to work and will only be permitted to work if they can demonstrate both a compelling need to work and an acceptable reason for delay in applying for a Protection visa. 

  • Former protection visa applicants who have sought judicial review within the statutory time limits will be granted permission to work on their bridging visa if they had permission to work on their last visa held. 

  • Protection visa applicants seeking permission under s.48B to lodge a second protection visa application and who obtain a bridging visa E will have permission to work if they remained lawful after their application for a substantive visa was finally determined up until the time they requested the Minister to intervene under s. 48B and they had permission to work on the last visa held. 

  • Former protection visa applicants seeking Ministerial Intervention under s.345, 351, 391, 417 or 454 will be able to access permission to work if they remained lawful after their application for a substantive visa was finally determined up until the time of the request for the Minister to intervene; and they had permission to work on the last visa they held. (Applicants who had already sought Ministerial Intervention under the above provisions or sought a determination under s.48B will only be eligible for a bridging visa E if they are making acceptable arrangements to depart Australia.). 

 

Onshore applicants may also be eligible for assistance under: 

  • Immigration Advice & Application Assistance Scheme (IAAAS), which is available to persons in immigration detention, or to persons in the community in financial difficulties, or who had suffered torture and trauma; or 

  • Asylum Seekers Assistance Scheme (ASAS), which is administered by the Australian Red Cross in providing financial assistance for basic living essentials, access to work rights and Medicare benefits to certain people who have sought protection visas and have no other means of support at primary, but not review, stages; or 

  • Legal Aid – however, this assistance given to immigration and refugee cases is now extremely rare and is not available via LAQ in Queensland. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Applicants must be outside Australia at the time of application and when the visa is granted. There are five visas in this category

 

  • Refugee visa subclass 200: This is a permanent visa for applicants who are subject to persecution in their country of residence, but living in another country.

  • In-country special humanitarian visa subclass 201:This is a permanent visa for applicants who are subject to persecution in their country of residence, and living in their country of residence. 

  • Global special humanitarian visa subclass 202: This is a permanent visa for applicants who are subject to 'substantial discrimination, amounting to gross violation of human rights' in their country of residence, but living in another country • Applicant needs to be proposed for entry to Australia by an Australian citizen or resident, or an organisation 

  • Emergency rescue visa subclass 203: This is a permanent visa for applicants who are subject to persecution in their country of residence, and living either in their country of residence, or in another country

  • Woman at Risk Visa subclass 204: This is a permanent visa for applicants registered with UNHCR as being persons of concern, and living outside their country of residence, and o who do not have the protection of a male relative, and are in danger of victimisation, harassment or abuse because of their sex. 

 

The following factors are usually taken into consideration in deciding whether to grant one of above visas: 

 

Whether there are compelling reasons for approving their resettlement in Australia, having regard to factors such as

  • the extent of persecution or discrimination of the persons in their country of residence, 

  • their connections with Australia, 

  • whether there are any other country which can provide for their resettlement, and 

  • the capacity of the Australian community in providing assistance to their permanent resettlement. 

 

In addition, their permanent resettlement in Australia is:

  •  appropriate and not contrary to the interests of Australia, and 

  •  consistent with Australia's regional and global priorities re its refugee/humanitarian program. 

 

Onshore Refugee and Humanitarian Visas 

Offshore Refugee and Humanitarian Visas 

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