What's New in Refugee and Humanitarian
On this page
- Visa policy for at-risk employees in Afghanistan
- Consultations are underway on the 2013–14 Humanitarian Program
- Pre-transfer assessment process for offshore entry persons subject to be taken to a regional processing country
- Changes to the Special Humanitarian Program
- Government implements recommended changes to family reunion
- Expanded Humanitarian Program to include an additional 1000 refugees from Syria
- Humanitarian Program to be increased to 20 000 places
- Health waiver provisions for offshore humanitarian applicants have been streamlined
On 13 December 2012, the Government announced that Australia will offer resettlement to employees who have been assessed to be at risk of harm due to their employment with Australia's mission in Afghanistan.
This visa policy is for locally engaged Afghan employees at the greatest risk of harm as a consequence of the support they have provided to Australia's mission in Afghanistan.
To be eligible to apply for a visa under this policy you must:
- have been employed with the Department of Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID or the Australian Federal Police
- have been certified by your employing agency as being at significant risk of harm as a result of your employment
- meet the criteria for a Refugee and Humanitarian visa, including health character and security requirements.
Information about how you can be certified is available from your employer.
Media release: Visa policy for at-risk Afghan employees – 13 December 2012
Locally Engaged Employees in Afghanistan – Frequently Asked Questions
Written submissions or letters are invited to contribute to the consultation process on the size and composition of the 2013–14 Humanitarian Program. An Information Paper has been published and the Department invites respondents to refer to the contents of this paper in their submissions.
See: Australia's Humanitarian Program: 2013-14 Consultations
Pre-transfer assessment process for offshore entry persons subject to be taken to a regional processing country
Under s198AD(2) of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act), offshore entry persons who entered Australia on or after 13 August 2012 must be taken to a regional processing country as soon as reasonably practicable. Where it is in the public interest to do so, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (the minister) may decide under s198AE of the Act that s198AD does not apply to an offshore entry person.
The department has put in place a Pre-Transfer Assessment process in order to determine whether:
- The offshore entry person falls within any of the classes of persons in relation to which the minister has exercised his power under s198AE of the Act, such that he has determined that s198AD does not apply.
- The case is one that the minister has indicated in his section 198AE guidelines should be referred to him to consider whether he will exercise his section 198AE power.
- There are specific personal circumstances or special needs that mean it is not reasonably practicable to transfer the person to a regional processing country at this time.
Pre-Transfer Assessment Form ( 74KB PDF file) – 14 October 2012 (in use since 12 September 2012)
Departmental Guidelines for Assessment of Persons Prior to Transfer Pursuant to Section 198AD(2) of the Migration Act 1958 (149KB PDF file) – 14 October 2012 (in use since 12 September 2012)
Ministerial Guidelines for Consideration of Cases under Section 198AE of the Migration Act 1958 (167KB PDF file) – 14 October 2012 (in use since 12 September 2012)
People who arrived as an Irregular Maritime Arrival on or after 13 August 2012 are no longer eligible to propose their family under the Humanitarian Program. These changes became effective on 28 September 2012.
See: Changes to Refugee & Humanitarian (Class XB) Visas – 28 September 2012
The government has introduced changes to the Special Humanitarian Program on the recommendation of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers. The changes effectively bar family members of people arriving by boat after 13 August 2012 from proposing family members under the Humanitarian Program.
See: Media release: Government implements Expert Panel's family reunion recommendation – 22 September 2012
An additional 1000 refugees caught up in the conflict in Syria will be resettled in Australia as part of the government's expanded Humanitarian Program for 2012–13.
See: Media release: Australia to resettle an additional 1000 refugees from Syria – 13 September 2012
The government will increase Australia's Humanitarian Program to 20 000 places in 2012–13, in line with recommendations from the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers.
See: Media release: Refugee Program increased to 20 000 places – 23 August 2012
A health waiver is available for certain humanitarian, partner and family visas where the department is satisfied that the granting of the visa would be unlikely to result in undue costs and prejudice to access.
See: Health Waivers – 1 July 2012