Refugee visa

Refugee visa


Protection law is the most complex area of immigration law and had given rise to more litigation in the courts than all other areas of immigration laws combined. As specialists in this area we maintain extensive databases of decisions and applicable country information which assists case officers to make the most accurate assessment on the case of our clients.

Seeking Protection in Australia

Australia provides protection for asylum seekers who:

The Refugee Convention

Australia is one of 147 signatory countries to the Refugees Convention.

The Refugees Convention defines a refugee as a person who:

Complementary Protection

From 24 March 2012, complementary protection claims have been considered as part of the protection visa assessment process. Complementary protection is the term used to describe a category of protection for people who are not refugees but cannot be returned to their home country, in line with Australia’s international obligations, because there is a real risk that the person will suffer certain types of harm.

How claims are assessed

Applications for protection visas are assessed by trained departmental officers.

All claims for protection are assessed confidentiality on an individual basis against the criteria contained in the Refugees Convention and the complementary protection criteria, in accordance with Australian legislation, case law and up-to-date information on conditions in the applicant’s country of origin.

People who are found to be owed protection are eligible for the grant of a protection visa in Australia, provided they satisfy health, character and security checks.

1. Protection visas (onshore)

Permanent protection

If you arrived in Australia legally, you can apply for a Protection visa (subclass 866).

Temporary Protection

If you arrived in Australia illegally, you may be able to apply for a Temporary Protection visa (TPV) (subclass 785) or a Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV) (subclass 790).

If you have already applied for a TPV or a SHEV, you need to wait for the outcome of that application.

TPV and SHEV holders If you currently hold a Temporary Protection visa (subclass 785) or a Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790) you must apply for a subsequent TPV or SHEV before your current visa ceases.

More information is available about applying for a subsequent temporary protection visa.

2. Refugee visas (offshore)

To be eligible for the refugee visas you must:
You can apply for 1 of 4 refugee visa subclasses:
The visa pages have information about how the Australian Government will help you:
Priority processing

We give priority to the most vulnerable applicants. This includes those that are:
Because of the limited number of resettlement places available each year and the high demand for them, we accept applicants in the most compelling circumstances only.

Rejoin your split family

If your immediate family members are already in Australia they may help bring you to Australia by ‘proposing’ your visa application.

We call this a ‘split family’ application. We give split family applications special consideration.

An immediate family member may include your:
Your immediate family members in Australia are only eligible to propose your split family application if they hold:
They must also:
Illegal Maritime Arrivals who arrived in Australia on or after 13 August 2012 may not propose applications for family members.