The protection visa application process



Anyone who attempts to travel to Australia by boat without a visa will be turned back or transferred to a regional processing country.

The following information is not for people whose protection claims are being assessed in regional processing countries.

This information is for people who arrived in Australia by boat without a visa on or after 13 August 2012 and before 1 January 2014, and whose protection claims will be assessed in Australia.

The Australian Government has started to invite people in Australia who arrived illegally by boat to apply for a protection visa.

People must wait to receive an invitation before applying.

There are many people who need to apply. It will take a long time to process them all.

You need to be patient and wait for your invitation.

While you wait for your invitation, there are some things you can do to prepare.

Make sure the Immigration Department has your current address and other contact details.

To update your contact details, call 1300 728 662, with your name, date of birth, boat identification number, home address and contact phone number.

You collect the documents and information you will need when for it is your turn to apply.

This includes original, genuine evidence of your identity, nationality and citizenship, which could include identity and travel documents.

You should also collect information and evidence to support your claims for protection.

To help you understand the protection visa application process, there are translated guides on the Department's website.

You should look at the guides before you are invited to apply, so you are ready when it is your turn.

You can find them at

If you want to hire a registered migration agent to help you, you can do so at your own cost.

If you do hire a registered migration agent, let the Immigration Department know so they can contact you through that agent.

When it is your turn, the Immigration Department will send you, or your agent, an invitation to apply for a visa.

As you arrived illegally, you can only apply for a Temporary Protection visa or a Safe Haven Enterprise visa. You should consider which type of temporary visa is best for you.

You can find more information about these visa options at

When you apply for a protection visa, it is very important to give the Immigration Department all your protection claims and supporting evidence early and in full.

If you do not do this and your application is refused, you will probably not have an opportunity to provide any new claims or new evidence.

The Immigration Department will consider your application and ask you to come to an interview to discuss your application and claims for protection.

After the interview, a departmental officer will fully assess all your claims and evidence and make a decision on whether or not you engage Australia’s protection obligations.

If you are found to engage Australia's protection obligations and meet all other requirements, like health, security, character and identity checks, you will be granted a visa.

If you are found not to engage Australia's protection obligations, your application will be refused.

You will be expected to depart Australia.

Visit the Immigration Department’s webpages for up-to-date information about the protection visa application process:

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​Protection visa processing by Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.