Humanitarian Visas

Australia’s Humanitarian Programme has two components:

  • the onshore protection/asylum component offering protection to people already in Australia who are found to be refugees according to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (UN Convention)
  • the offshore resettlement component offers resettlement to people overseas who are found to be refugees according to the UN Convention.

Onshore Protection

The onshore component is comprised of three streams:

  1. Onshore Protection (permanent) – is for those found to be refugees as defined in the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) or meet the complementary  protection criteria under the Act. Those acts definitions mirror the UN convention rules relating to the determination of refugees.
  2. Temporary protection visas (TPV)  is a three-year visa and is the only option available to those arrive in Australia illegally and invited by the minister to apply after lifting a bar, which is otherwise enforced on such application for protection visas is Australia, due to the method of arrival in Australia and non-clearance by immigration officers.
  3. Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) – This visa is similar to the Temporary protection visa mentioned above, except that it is a five-year visa aimed to encourage resettlement in regional area.

Under both the TPV and SHEV holders could never obtain permanent residency and the only option for them would be a renewal if the holder continues to be a refugee or meet the complementary protection criteria.

Offshore resettlement

The offshore resettlement component comprises two streams of permanent visas:

  1. Refugee-for people who are subject to persecution in their home country, who are residing outside their home country, usually as refugees in another country, and are in need of resettlement. Most of the applicants who are considered under this stream are referred by UNHCR to Australia for resettlement, but that is not a mandatory requirement as people may apply directly to the department. However, priority is given to those referred by UNHCR.
  2. Special Humanitarian Programme (SHP)– for people outside their home country who are subject to substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of human rights in their home country. Also under this stream a person who has been granted protection in Australia can bring in the member of their family unit. Under this stream a proposal by an Australian citizen, permanent resident Or community organisation with priorities given to those proposing close family members.

At CK Migration we have extensive experience in the onshore and offshore humanitarian streams. For information on how to apply for a visa or propose an applicant, please contact us and an expert in the field will get in touch with you the soonest.