Refugee / Humanitarian Offshore

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Seeking protection if you are inside Australia

A person who needs protection and who has entered Australia legally and is not in Immigration Clearance can apply for a protection visa subclass 866. AMO has assisted thousands of asylum seekers in Australia but we will only assist clients who have genuine claims that meet the Immigration definition of refugee.

Unfortunately our  funding for free services under the IAAAS program has now been used up and Immigration have not yet advised about any new providers of these services. New services were expected to begin in July 2018.

Seeking protection if you are outside Australia

The Refugee visas sub class 200 , 203 and 204 are normally only granted to people who are referred to the Australian Embassy by the UNHCR.

The visa sub class 202 is Australia’s Global Special Humanitarian Visa program. This is a permanent visa and if granted will allow you to live, work and study in Australia. However Australia receives over 70,000 applications per year and only about 10% of these applications are successful in getting a visa. We will only assist with these if the applicants are recognised as refugees by the UNHCR and have an Australian relative to sponsor them.

To be eligible for a Humanitarian visa  sub class 202 to  Australia you must be:

  • Living outside your country of nationality
  • Subject to substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of your human rights.
  • proposed for the visa by an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident  or organization IN Australia
  • Have compelling reasons for giving special consideration to the grant of a visa
  • fall within a priority group

Priority groups within the SHP are listed on the Home Affairs website as:

  1. applicant is proposed by an immediate family member who holds an SHP visa OR the applicant is proposed by a relative who genuinely resides in a regional location* and who does not hold an Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status(CD-851) visa
  2. applicant is proposed by a close family member who does not hold a Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status (CD-851) visa (partners, children, parents and siblings who do not otherwise meet the ‘split family’ definition)
  3. applicant is proposed by an extended family member who does not hold a Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status visa (CD-851) (grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews)
  4. applicant is proposed by a friend or distant relative who does not hold a Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status (CD-851) visa or by a community organisation
  5. applicant is proposed by or on behalf of a person granted a Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status (CD-851) visa. Note – this is only until these proposers become Australian citizens, then applications they propose become priority 1, 2, 3 or 4 according to their relationship.

* Under the SHP, a regional location is anywhere in Australia except Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney. Evidence of residency must be provided by the proposer. This could include a telephone, rates or utility bill that shows the proposer’s name and address.

Processing of these applications takes a very long time and they are very hard to be successful even with very strong claims because the Australian government has limited refugee visa’s to grant each year and there are thousands of people applying.

Immigration specifically looks at:

  • The applicant’s refugee claims and the degree of persecution or discrimination the person is or was, subjected to
  • Whether  there is any other more suitable country available for resettlement
  • The extent of the  applicant’s connections to Australia
  • The applicants settlement support offered to them in Australia
  • The applicant’s skills and ability to be settles quickly and integrate into the  Australian society
  • The capacity of the Australian community to provide for the permanent settlement of persons such as the applicant in Australia


The application is lodged in Australia for initial assessment.  Immigration can refuse the application directly or refer the application to an Embassy offshore for further processing. The initial stage can take 1-2 years to be completed at the moment.

For this visa there is no Immigration application fee; however you will have to pay for airfares to Australia. You would receive some settlement support and be eligible for some government benefits if you are granted the visa.

We strongly advise clients to consider the high chance of refusal before agreeing to lodge these applications.

In order to ensure you apply for the correct visa and submit all the correct documentation ring AMO for an appointment with one of our experienced Migration Agents or email your query to


To access this program you must contact one the provider Groups listed on the Immigration web site.

AMO CANNOT assist with this program

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All Migration Agents are required to be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) in order to provide migration advice & assistance. Please see link to consumer guide for further information Consumer Guide