In this section
An asylum seeker is someone who has applied for refugee status and who is awaiting a decision on this application. Asylum seekers in Australia can broadly be divided by:
See: Refugee policy and timeline.
There are several means of identifying asylum seeker status; also see information on the DIBP Immicards.
Prior to 13 Aug 2012, people who were successful in their asylum claim were granted a Protection visa (subclass 866). This visa grants permanent residency, work rights, Centrelink eligibility, Medicare and settlement support; therefore 866 visa holders are no longer asylum seekers. People who arrived before 13 August 2012 whose claims were not finalised, are subject to retrospective application of Temporary Protection Visas (TPV).
People on Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) - TPVs were proposed for reintroduction in October 2013 - see NSW Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) Factsheet and the Victorian Refugee Health Network Asylum seeker fact sheet from that time. Legislation changes in Dec 2014 allowed TPVs to proceed, reintroducing the TPV 785 (XD) and introducing a new form of 'Safe Haven Enterprise' (SHEV) Visa - see DIBP TPV and SHEV, and Protection Application Information and Guides (PAIG). SHEV became available in July 2015 and arrangements included Victoria from Oct 2016. Also see RILC fact sheet - SHEV, and Department of Social Services - TPV entitlements.
The latest immigration detention statistics can be found here. In 2017, in Victoria there are:
All asylum seeker groups have a health assessment – either in held detention (through IHMS), or in the community after release from detention as part of refugee health care, or by BUPA (contracted by DIBP).
As of late 2016 and early 2017, asylum seeker clients have been sent pro forma letters from DIBP requesting health examinations as part of the legacy caseload processing - to be completed at BUPA Medical Visa Services. Key details include:
Access to services, workrights, and Medicare for the different asylum seeker groups (and those on a TPV) is shown in Table 1.
DIBP. Able to engage legal assistance under the Migration Act
Red Cross, Life without Barriers, contracted by DIBP. SRSS band 2-3. Able to engage legal assistance under the Migration Act. Generally no funded legal assistance - see PAIG, some applicants have been eligible for assistance through the Primary Application Information Service (PAIS)
Kindergarten, primary, secondary and language school.
Tertiary education at international student rates
Life without Barriers, AMES, Red Cross. SRSS band 4-6. Band 4 = transition, Band 5 = vulnerable, Band 6 = majority. Generally no funded legal assistance - see PAIG, some applicants are eligible for assistance through the Primary Application Information Service (PAIS)
Kindergarten, primary, secondary and language school, fees may be charged, depending on entry visa
Tertiary education as above
Often no case support, may be eligible for SRSS and Red Cross support, may get case support through ASRC. May be eligible for IAAAS if meet disadvantage criteria
SRSS - Status Resolution Support Services is the program that provides supports to non-citizens as their immigration status is resolved. SRSS replaces the previous CAS – Community Assistance Support (changed to band 5) and ASAS – Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme (changed to band 6).