Refugee and Humanitarian Visa

  • Australia has specific visas available to people seeking refuge status under the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugees Convention). The Convention defines a refugee as someone who:
  • “…owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”
  • If you are in Australia, you may seek asylum by applying for a Protection Visa.
  • Protection Visas are granted to asylum seekers who meet the definition of a ‘refugee’ under the Refugees Convention and associated Australian laws, and who meet the relevant health, character and security requirements. You can seek review of a decision to refuse the grant of an Onshore Protection Visa.
  • If you are outside of Australia; Individuals outside their home country, or in some instances inside their home country, and subject to persecution, or in some cases substantial discrimination, may be eligible for one of the Offshore Humanitarian Visas. Humanitarian Visas can lead to temporary or permanent residency depending on the individual’s circumstances and the particular visa applied for. You cannot seek review of a decision to refuse the grant of an Offshore Humanitarian Visa.