Protection and Humanitarian Visa Provision

This provision is an international collective effort to protect refugees and provide them with the basic livelihood requirements. Individuals facing persecution in their home country for reasons of race, religion, political opinion can seek for asylum in Australia. 

Australia provides Refugee and Humanitarian visa to people who:

  • wish to resettle in Australia due to threat in their home country.
  • seek protection from Australian government for fear of persecution.

The Humanitarian Program

The Humanitarian Program is comprised of an offshore and an onshore component. 


Majority of humanitarian visas are granted under offshore component and it is for people applying visa before coming to Australia. There are three categories of permanent offshore visa:

1. The Refugee Category: People who are subject to persecution and have met health, character and national security requirements can be eligible for the refugee visas. They can apply for 1 of 4 refugee visa subclasses listed hereunder:

  • a. Refugee Visa (Subclass 200): should be referred by UNHCR for resettlement
  • b. In-country Special Humanitarian Visa (Subclass 201): for people who are unable to leave their country
  • c. Emergency Rescue Visa (Subclass 203): for people in immediate danger referred by UNHCR
  • d. Woman at Risk Visa (Subclass 204): for women victim who do not have the protection of a partner or a relative.

2. Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) category (subclass 202) : A person living outside Australia and their home country, who faces substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of human rights in their home county can apply for Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) category (subclass 202). To be eligible for the visa, a proposer who is an Australian citizen or Permanent resident or an organization based in Australia should support. Proposers are responsible for refugee’s settlement.


3. Community Support Program (CSP) category: In this program Australian people, businesses and organizations help refuges to resettle in their community. Approved Proposing Organizations (APOs) are appointed to screen eligibility of refugee applicants, guide though visa application and help them to find employment.



People who entered Australia legally or illegally can apply for onshore component of the Humanitarian Program if they fear prosecution or violation of their human rights in their home country. All onshore protection visas are monitored and processed by DIAC officials.

There are two types of protection visa (subclass 866):

1. Permanent protection: Individuals who arrived in Australia legally can apply for Protection visa (subclass 866). Applicant for permanent visa must engage in Australia’s protection obligations and meet all other visa requirements such as health, character and security. Eligible asylum seekers have access to free, professional migration advice and application assistance under the Government’s Immigration Advice and Application Assistance Scheme (IAAAS).

It costs AUD$40 to apply for protection visa in Australia. Protection Visa (subclass 866) holder can live, work and study in Australia permanently and can sponsor their eligible family member for permanent residency.


2. Temporary Protection : All illegal immigrants in Australia apply for: 

A.    Temporary Protection visa (TPV) (subclass 785): This visa is for illegal immigrants who want to apply for protection. It lets you stay in Australia temporarily if you engage Australia's protection obligations and meet all other requirements for the visa. It costs AUD$40 to apply for this visa. After visa has been granted, refugee can stay up to 3 years. They can work and study until their visa expires. 

B.    Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV) (subclass 790): It is much similar to temporary protection visa except few key points. SHEV visa holder can stay up to 5 years and can live, work and study in Australia. Applicant must sign a declaration on the application form that they intend to work or study in regional Australia.