The Process

Seeking asylum process for Australia

An asylum seeker is very different from a migrant, as the former has fled his or her home to seek political refuge in another country, whereas the latter has shifted to the country on their own to enjoy a better or different life. Asylum seekers have been forced to leave their countries due to the hardships that they are facing there. These include being persecuted on the basis of religion, race, nationality, political views, and being a member of a particular social group. Migrants can return to their home country whenever they want but asylum seekers can only ever go back if the situation in their homeland improves. Australia provides protection to asylum seekers and the process is explained below.

The process of seeking asylum for Australia

Asylum seekers who enter Australia with a certified visa first have to go through a screening process to access their claims. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection unit looks at the visa and assesses whether the asylum seeker qualifies as a refugee as defined by the Migration Act. Sometimes many asylum seekers may not qualify as refugees but may require protection due to the harmful conditions in their home countries. In such instances, the department would look at whether the asylum seekers requires complementary protection by the CAT, CRC or ICCPR and will he or she be under risk if sent back to their country. If the person satisfies all identity, security, and health requirements and qualifies as a refugee or needs protection, then they will be given  a protection visa.

What if the person is rejected as a refugee?

If the person is denied asylum at the initial stage by the department, they can go to the Refugee Review Tribunal or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to help them out. In very extreme cases, the help of the ministerial can be taken to grant them refugee status on humanitarian grounds.

What happens to those without a valid visa?

If a refugee arrives in Australia without a valid visa and comes by boat, then the department will send them to a third country. But if the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection does not approve this, they will not be sent to a third country. When they are sent to that third country, their case is reviewed under that particular region’s jurisdiction and they are judged accordingly. If, on the other hand, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection allows them to stay on in Australia, they will only get temporary protection. They can only apply for safe haven enterprise visas or temporary protection visas and cannot seek permanent protection. The asylum seeker will have to return to their home or another country after this temporary protection is over.