Loading
pop-up content starts
pop-up content ends
Refugee and humanitarian program

Refugee visas (offshore)

To be eligible for the refugee visas you must:

  • be outside Australia (offshore)
  • be subject to persecution in your home country
  • meet the ‘compelling reasons’ criterion
  • meet health, character and national security requirements

You can apply for 1 of 4 refugee visa subclasses:

The visa pages have information about how the Australian Government will help you:

  • prepare for travel to Australia
  • prepare for life in Australia
  • settle in the Australian community

Priority processing

We give priority to the most vulnerable applicants. This includes those that are:

  • assessed as refugees by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and
  • referred to Australia for resettlement, or
  • proposed by an immediate family member (for example, spouses and minor aged children) who hold a Refugee category visa (subclasses 200, 201, 203 or 204)

Because of the limited number of resettlement places available each year and the high demand for them, we accept applicants in the most compelling circumstances only.

Rejoin your split family

If your immediate family members are already in Australia they may help bring you to Australia by 'proposing' your visa application.

We call this a 'split family' application. We give split family applications special consideration.

An immediate family member may include your:

  • spouse or de facto partner (including same-sex partner)
  • dependent child or stepchild
  • parent or step-parent if you are younger than 18

Your immediate family members in Australia are only eligible to propose your split family application if they hold:

  • Refugee visa (subclass 200, 201, 202, 203, 204)

They must also:

  • have been a member of your immediate family when we granted their visa
  • have told us about your relationship before we granted their visa
  • still be a member of your family
  • propose your visa application within 5 years of us granting their visa

Illegal Maritime Arrivals who arrived in Australia on or after 13 August 2012 may not propose applications for family members.

Your proposer will need to complete a Form 681 Refugee and Special Humanitarian Proposal  for you to submit along with your own Form 842 Application for an Offshore Humanitarian visa.

We process applications under 'split family' for the same visa subclass the proposer holds.