Offshore refugee (Subclass 200, 201, 203 and 204) visa program is for people in their own country who are being oppressed or are being discriminated to an extend that it disrupts their basic rights.
Australian humanitarian program consists of onshore (in Australia) obligations under the UN 1951 Refugee Convention or Onshore Protection Class XA Subclass 866 visa, and offshore (outside of Australia) Class XB visa program, that is, Subclass 200 to 204.
There are four visa subclasses included in the Refugee category of the Humanitarian Program.
- Refugee (subclass 200)
- In-Country Special Humanitarian (subclass 201)
- Global Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 202)
- Emergency Rescue (subclass 203)
- Woman at Risk (subclass 204)
With any of the visa streams, you can:
- stay in Australia permanently
- work and study in Australia
- enroll in Australia’s public healthcare scheme, Medicare
- propose family members for permanent residence
- travel to and from Australia for 5 years
- if eligible become an Australian citizen
- attend free English language classes through the Adult Migrant English Program
Who is it for
These visas are for people who can move to Australia if they are subject to persecution or harassment in their home country. These visas allow people to live, work and study indefinitely in Australia.
How to qualify
You might be eligible for this visa if you:
- are outside Australia
- are subject to persecution in your home country.
Note: To be considered for this visa, you would usually need to be referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the Australian Government. Most applicants must be living outside their home country.
Step 1 – Check your eligibility
You must let the Australian Immigration Department know if you want someone to:
- Receive correspondence for you. Complete Form 956a – Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient (301KB PDF)
- Act for you. Complete Form 956 – Advice by a migration agent/exempt person of providing Immigration assistance (212KB PDF)
Step 2 – Organize your documents
You must organize all important documents in order to support your claims. You must not only provide your identity documents and family documents. Your application must go with strong evidences that your current condition is vulnerable and you might be persecuted. You must also provide a detailed statement to support your claims. Visa officer will evaluate each and everything you provide with your application.
Step 3 – Visa Lodgment
Apply on paper
Send your application to an immigration office outside Australia.
Step 4 – After you apply
DHA will let you know when they have received your application and documents.
Step 5 – Visa outcome
You will be notified by email or call when your visa is approved or rejected. You will be given electronic visa only.
The document needed
- Identity documents
- Humanitarian circumstances
- Please provide proof if you have registered with any international organization dealing with refugees, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
- Also write a statement, in English, about why you left your home country.
- Provide certified copies of any visas or residence permits you hold.
- Provide certified copies of marriage certificates
- Character documents
- Partner documents
- Documents of dependents under 18 documents
- Documents of dependents over 18 documents
There is no visa application charge for this visa
You can also include certain family members to your application at any time before the Immigration Officer decides on your application.
For this kind of visa, your family means:
- your married partner
- your dependent kids
- your partner’s dependent kids
- other relative who is a dependent
If your children are older enough and they are not dependent on you, they must apply for their own visa. Family members who apply with you must meet the health and character requirements. If any dependent family member is not coming to Australia with you may also have to meet our health requirement.
It is very important to mention about all of your family members, even if they will not be applying with you. If you do not clear about your family members in your application, your application might get refused due to providing false and misleading information.