Refugee & Humanitarian Visas

Help with applying for a visa: Contact us on (02) 8268 4000 for expert advice.

An Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law (as certified by the Law Society of New South Wales) leads our team of migration lawyers and agents.

Craddock Murray Neumann is a law firm, which can also assist with applications to the Migration Review Tribunal and the Federal Court if a visa application is unsuccessful. (Migration agents who are not lawyers cannot assist with applications to the Federal Court).

You can apply to come to or remain in Australia from overseas or inside Australia. Where you are will determine what criteria you have to satisfy.

Seeking protection if you are in Australia

If you are in Australia you can apply for a subclass 866 visa. This is also known as a protection visa or refugee visa.

To qualify for a refugee visa you must show that there is a real chance that you will be seriously harmed in your home of origin because of your:

  • race;
  • religion;
  • nationality;
  • political opinion; or
  • membership of a particular social group (e.g. homosexuals, disabled people etc). 

You must also pass the relevant character checks.

There is no need for your visa to be sponsored or proposed by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Proving that you are a refugee is often extremely difficult. It is critical, especially when your life is on the line, that you have excellent representation to ensure that you have the best of chance of success.

We have helped quite literally thousands of refugees from all over the world to get protection visas in Australia. We can help you.

Seeking protection if you are outside Australia

You can apply for a number of visas that will allow you to resettle in Australia on refugee or humanitarian grounds. These include:

  • Refugee (Subclass 200) visa;
  • In-Country Special Humanitarian (Subclass 201) visa;
  • Global Special Humanitarian (Subclass 202) visa;
  • Emergency Rescue (Subclass 203) visa;
  • Woman at Risk Visa (Subclass 204).

The criteria for each of these visas vary however as a general rule you must show that:

  • the UNHCR has decided that you are a refugee;
  • you will be persecuted in your country of origin;
  • you have suffered violations of your human rights in your home country;
  • you pass the health and character checks;
  • it is appropriate for you to be resettled in Australia – this means that you have a strong connection with Australia either through your relatives or your community

You may also satisfy the criteria for one of these visas if you have a relative in Australia who has been granted a protection visa.

Things you need to know about Refugee and Humanitarian visas

  • There is a limit on the number of offshore refugee visas that are granted in a year.
  • There is no limit on the number of onshore refugee visas that are granted in a year.
  • A lot more people apply to be granted offshore refugee visas than there are visas to grant.
  • It often takes 12 months or more for an offshore refugee visa to be granted and decisions are highly discretionary, which means it is impossible to predict in advance if the application will be successful.

Contact us on (02) 8268 4000 for expert advice, preferably well ahead of the expiry of any current visa.

Warning: this page states the law as at as at 29.12.11. The law is complex. The law may have changed when you read this page. Contact us to confirm your rights.

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