How to apply for asylum in Australia? Refugees in Australia

You can apply for asylum in Australia at any immigration service in Australia. If you are not in Australia, you can apply at any UNHCR office close to you. You will need to show that you are not safe in your country. And that your country is not able to protect you. If you are in Australia, immigration officers will ask you how you have come to Australia. If you didn’t come in a regular way in Australia, your application process might be different. If you are not in Australia, first you need to get a refugee visa to come to Australia.

How to apply for asylum in Australia?

You can apply for asylum in Australia at immigration services in Australia. Or you can apply at any UNHCR offices if you are not in Australia.

If you did not have a valid visa when you came to Australia, the Australian government might detain you or not. And you might have to wait to apply for asylum.

You can apply for asylum in Australia at the Department of Home Affairs. They are the people who assess your asylum claim.

The main steps of applying for asylum in Australia are the following.

  • You submit a written application in person at the Immigration office.
  • After you submit your application for asylum, immigration officers will interview you.
  • You will receive a decision on whether you have the right to protection in Australia.
  • If the decision is positive, you will receive a permanent protection visa.
  • If the decision is negative, you can appeal at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
  • The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) can decide to grant you asylum in Australia.
  • If the AAT refuses to give you asylum, you can appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

How do I get a refugee visa for Australia?

To get a refugee visa for Australia, you need to show the following.

  • You are not present in person in Australia, you are offshore in Australia.
  • You’re persecuted in your own country.
  • You have “compelling reasons” to ask for asylum in Australia. These compelling reasons are a combination of how much of the following applies to you.
    You face discrimination or persecution in your country.
    You have connections to Australia.
    You don’t have options elsewhere.
    Australia can provide for your permanent settlement.
  • You will not be a significant burden on the Australian health system.
  • You don’t have a significant criminal record.
  • You want to follow the Australian way of life.

You can read more on this Australian Government website.

Rejoin the split family in Australia

If you have family living in Australia, they may start your visa application. This is the spouse split family application.

The family member may include your:

  • Spouse.
  • Dependent child or the stepchild
  • The parent or the step-parent

Can asylum seekers work in Australia?

People who are seeking asylum in Australia are not allowed to work. Once you get refugee status, you will be able to work in the country.


Sources: Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

The above cover image shows somewhere on Gold Coast, Australia. Photo by Brad O’Reilly on Unsplash