Offshore Humanitarian Visa

Offshore Refugee and Humanitarian Visas

In Australia, Offshore Refugee and Humanitarian Visa Program offers resettlement to people outside Australia who are unable or unwilling to stay or return to their home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution or other serious human rights abuses.

The Offshore program is two categories:

  1. Refugee category is for individuals who have been classified as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  2. Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) category is for those who are subject to substantial discrimination in their home country.

The Offshore Refugee and Humanitarian Visa program consists of five visas and your application for a Refugee and Humanitarian Visa, will be assessed against all the following five visas:

  1. Refugee Visa (Subclass 200) is available to people who are subject to persecution in their home country and are living outside their home country.
  2. In-Country Special Humanitarian Visa (Subclass 201) is for people who are subject to persecution in their home country and who has not been able to leave that country to seek refuge elsewhere. Very few of these visas are granted each year.
  3. Global Special Humanitarian Visa (Subclass 202) is available for people who are living outside of their home country and is subject to substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of their human rights and /or persecution in that country. Applications for visas under the Special Humanitarian category must be proposed by an Australian citizen, permanent resident, an eligible New Zealand citizen or an Approved Proposing Organisation.
  4. Emergency Rescue Visa (Subclass 203) is offered to those who face an immediate threat to their life or personal security and are being persecuted in their own country.
  5. Woman at Risk Visa (Subclass 204) is available for a woman who is persecuted in her own country, lives outside of it without the protection of a male relative, and faces substantial risk of sex-based victimisation, harassment, or abuse.

Compelling Reasons

In addition to the requirements for each visa subclass outlined above, Refugee and Humanitarian visa applicants must also satisfy that there are “compelling reasons” for the grant of the visa.

The Department will consider the following four factors when assessing your application to determine whether there are sufficient justifications to issue a refugee and humanitarian visa:

  • the degree of discrimination or persecution to which the applicant is subject in the applicant’s home country;
  • the extent of the applicant’s connection with Australia (e.g. family and social connections);
  • whether or not there is any suitable country available, other than Australia, that can provide for the applicant’s settlement and protection; and
  • the capacity of the Australian community to provide for the permanent settlement of persons such as the applicant in Australia.

In short, while the degree of persecution or discrimination is the key criteria, the Department also consider other three factors. Discuss your offshore humanitarian visa options with us by booking a free 15 minute consultation online now.



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