Whats new in refugee and humanitarian

Changes to the Special Humanitarian Programme

From 1 July 2016, the Offshore Humanitarian Processing Centres changed their name to the Special Humanitarian Processing Centres (SHPC).  They continue to be located in Melbourne (Victoria) and Sydney (New South Wales).

Prior to 1 July 2016, applicants residing in Pakistan and Afghanistan lodged at the SHPC in Melbourne.

From 1 July 2016, all applicants residing in Pakistan and Afghanistan should lodge their applications at the SHPC in Sydney.

All other lodgement criteria remain unchanged.  All applicants residing in Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen should lodge at the SHPC in Melbourne and all other applicants (including applicants residing in Pakistan and Afghanistan) lodge at the SHPC in Sydney.

Call for submissions from the public on Australia’s Humanitarian Programme 2014–15 and Information Paper

Australia operates a dedicated Humanitarian Programme, which offers resettlement for refugees and others in humanitarian need and protection for people already in Australia who are determined to be refugees.

Each year, the government seeks the views of the Australian public so that these can be taken into consideration in planning for and building future years’ Humanitarian Programmes.

An information paper is available on the website. It outlines how the Humanitarian Programme currently operates and provides information on its size and composition over previous years.

More information on where to send a submission and the information paper is available on the website.
See: Australia's Humanitarian Programme 2014–15 and Beyond (169 kB pdf)

Community Proposal Pilot commenced 1 June 2013

The Community Proposal Pilot is a program of up to 500 visa places under Australia’s Humanitarian Program.  It allows approved proposing organisations to propose someone in a humanitarian situation outside of Australia for a Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa.

These organisations would usually work with supporting community organisations to identify people to propose, support their visa application process, and if successful, help them to settle in Australia.

More information about the program, eligibility, costs, and how to apply is available on the website.
See: Community Proposal Pilot

Visa policy for at-risk employees in Afghanistan

On 13 December 2012, the Government announced that Australia will offer resettlement to employees who have been assessed to be at risk of harm due to their employment with Australia's mission in Afghanistan.

This visa policy is for locally engaged Afghan employees at the greatest risk of harm as a consequence of the support they have provided to Australia's mission in Afghanistan.

To be eligible to apply for a visa under this policy you must:

  • have been employed with the Department of Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID or the Australian Federal Police
  • have been certified by your employing agency as being at significant risk of harm as a result of your employment
  • meet the criteria for a Refugee and Humanitarian visa, including health character and security requirements.

Health waiver provisions for offshore humanitarian applicants have been streamlined

A health waiver is available for certain humanitarian, partner and family visas where the department is satisfied that the granting of the visa would be unlikely to result in undue costs and prejudice to access.
See: Health Waivers – 1 July 2012