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

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.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

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.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

Step 1 – Check your eligibility

You must let the Australian Immigration Department know if you want someone to:

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

Apply with Form 842 Application for an Offshore Humanitarian Visa (813KB PDF)

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.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia
  • 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
  • Photographs
  • Character documents
  • Partner documents
  • Documents of dependents under 18 documents
  • Documents of dependents over 18 documents
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

There is no visa application charge for this visa

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

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.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia