The second program is the separate humanitarian program which is designed for refugees and others in special humanitarian need.
A major component of the humanitarian program is the offshore resettlement Program, which assists people in humanitarian need overseas for whom resettlement in another country is the only option.
The onshore protection component is for those people already in Australia who arrived on temporary visas or in an unauthorised manner, and who claim Australia’s protection.
The size of the 2003-04 humanitarian program is 12,000 places.
Migrating as a refugee or humanitarian entrant
Permanent entry to Australia can be through the migration program (for skilled and family migrants) or the humanitarian program (for refugees and others in humanitarian need).
In the past 50 years, almost 600,000 refugees and displaced people have been resettled in Australia. Many had close family ties to Australia.
Within the current humanitarian program is an offshore component (which helps people in humanitarian need overseas, for whom resettlement in another country is the only option) and an onshore component (for people in Australia seeking protection - that is, seeking refugee status).
There are two main categories within the offshore program:
- the refugee category is for people outside their country of nationality or usual residence who have suffered, or hold a well-founded fear of persecution, and who are in humanitarian need of resettlement.
- the Special Humanitarian Program provides help to those outside their country of nationality or usual residence, who have experienced substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of human rights, and for whom resettlement is an appropriate solution. Applications must be supported by people resident, or organisations based, in Australia.
People who are already in Australia may be eligible for a Protection Visa (refugee status) if they engage Australia's protection obligations under the 1951 UN Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to refugees.
Each application for a Protection Visa is assessed on its merits, with all information supplied by applicants being taken into account.
Applicants may be granted either a Permanent Protection Visa (PPV), for those who entered Australia lawfully, or a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV), for those who entered Australia in an unauthorised way.
Please note that legislation which came into effect in 2001 means that some Temporary Protection Visa holders may not be able to access permanent visas, if they have an ongoing need for protection.