How Displaced People Can Apply for Australia Refugee Visas


With these visas you can move to Australia if you are subject to persecution in your home country. These visas allow you and your family to live, work and study indefinitely in Australia.




There is no visa application charge for this visa

  • stay in Australia permanently
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme, Medicare
  • propose family members for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years
  • if eligible become an Australian citizen
  • attend free English language classes through the Adult Migrant English Program

This is a permanent visa. It lets you stay in Australia indefinitely.

You become a permanent resident when you enter Australia.

For citizenship purposes, your permanent residence starts on the day you enter Australia on this visa.

You can also add certain family members to your application at any time before we decide on your application.

For this visa, your family are:

If your child is not dependent on you, they must apply for their own visa.

Family members who apply for the visa must meet our health and character requirements.

Family members who are not coming to Australia might also have to meet our health requirement.

It is important to declare all of your family members, even if they will not be applying with you.

If you do not declare a family member in your application, you may not be able to propose them for a refugee and humanitarian visa after you arrive in Australia.

For an indication of processing times for this visa, use the visa processing time guide tool. This will show the processing times for recently decided applications. It is a guide only and not specific to your application.

The decision process could take many months, even years. The number of applications we receive for resettlement each year is far greater than available visas.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including chest x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Processing times also vary according to individual and family circumstances, such as any health conditions that might require testing or treatment.

We will contact you at key stages of processing and when a decision is made.

Priority processing

We give priority to most vulnerable applicants:

  • 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 has 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 most compelling circumstances only.

You must enter Australia before the first entry arrival date (initial arrival date) specified in your grant letter.

You and your family members must obey all Australian laws.

Your travel to Australia will be arranged by the Department at no cost to you. If the first entry arrival date (initial arrival date) specified in your grant letter has passed, we may issue you with a travel facilitation letter. We may first ask you to undergo a fresh medical examination. 

You can travel to and from Australia for 5 years from the date we grant the visa. After 5 years you will need a Resident Return (RRV) visa (subclass 155) or (subclass 157) to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.

Note: The number of applications we receive for resettlement each year is far greater than available visas.

There are four visa subclasses included in the Refugee category of the Humanitarian Program. They are:

  • Refugee (subclass 200)
  • In-country Special Humanitarian (subclass 201)
  • Emergency Rescue (subclass 203)
  • Woman at Risk (subclass 204)
  • Be living outside Australia
    • You can’t apply for this visa in Australia.
  • Face persecution
    • You need resettlement because you face persecution in your home country.
  • Work
    • You can work on this visa.
  • Meet our health requirement
    • You and any family members who apply for the visa with you must meet our health requirement.
    • Family members who do not apply with you might also have to meet our health requirement.
    • If you have compassionate and compelling circumstances, we might waive your health requirement.
  • Meet our character requirement
  • Sign the Australian values statement
    • If you are 18 years of age or older, you must confirm you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws when you sign or accept the Australian Values Statement.
  • Have paid back your debt to the Australian government
    • If you or any family members (including those who don’t apply for the visa with you) owe the Australian Government money, you or they must have paid it back or arranged to pay it back.

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