skip to main page content.
A Just Australia
Australian Refugee Foundation
Refugee Week

Latest News

Independent guardian needed to protect interests of child asylum seekers

RCOA has welcomed the release of a new report that recommends the replacement of the Immigration Minister as the guardian of unaccompanied asylum seeker children. Read more here.

Allowing Indian consular access to asylum seekers ignores protection claims

Australia's decision to grant Indian consular officials access to 157 asylum seekers without testing their claims for refugee protection creates a troubling precedent. Read more here.

Government removes Refugee Council's core funding

The Australian Government has completely cut core funding to RCOA despite allocating $140,000 just two weeks ago in its 2014-15 Budget. Read more here.

Child asylum seekers locked up at higher rate than adults

Child asylum seekers are more likely than their adult counterparts to be held in Australia in a locked detention facility than in community alternatives. Read more here.

Australia's answers on return of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka unsatisfactory

RCOA has demanded Australia explain what has happened to 41 asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka and what guarantees were given about their safety. Read more here.

RCOA backs call for independent observer for screening process

RCOA has endorsed a call for an independent observer to be present during the interviews of asylum seekers under enhanced screening. Read more here.

Lives on the line under proposed changes to Migration Act

RCOA has expressed alarm at proposed changes to the Migration Act 1958 which will significantly increase the risk of people being returned to danger. Read our media release.

UN High Commissioner criticises Australia's 'strange' obsession with boats

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has described as "very strange" Australia's obsession with deterring asylum seekers who arrive by boat. Read more here.

Cambodian NGOs unite in opposition to Australia's refugee deal

RCOA has welcomed a joint statement issued by a coalition of 21 Cambodian NGOs who oppose the planned refugee resettlement deal between Cambodia and Australia. Read more here.

Running an asylum policy on cruelty leads to deadly consequences

RCOA President Phil Glendenning fears a repeat of the tragic self-immolation of a Tamil asylum seeker in Melbourne unless Australia abandoned its cruel and punitive policy approach. Read more here.

Refugee review changes a matter of life and death for asylum seekers

Proposed legislation aimed at fast-tracking refugee claims will take legal resources away from asylum seekers and hand them to the Australian Government, increasing the risk of vulnerable people being sent back to danger. Read more here.

Critical questions about Manus Island violence remain unanswered

The Australian Government's explanation for February's violence on Manus Island is inadequate and leaves critical questions unanswered. Read more here.

Federal Budget summary 2014-15

RCOA has released a summary of refugee-related spending in the 2014-15 Federal Budget. Read more here.

Detention centre closures must be accompanied by community alternatives

RCOA has welcomed plans to close six immigration detention centres but called for greater use of community arrangements for more than 3000 asylum seekers in detention. Read more here.

Former refugees fear racism, abuse if Racial Discrimination Act is weakened

Australians of refugee background have told RCOA of their fears of an increase in racism and abuse as a result of the political debate on plans to weaken provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act. Read more here.

Enough is Enough: It's time for a new approach

On the first anniversary of the report on the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, 64 Australian NGOs have called for a new approach to refugee and asylum policy that delivers protection to refugees. Read more here.
 

Promoting the participation of refugees in sporting activities

This report investigates the role of sport in assisting refugee settlement.

 

Statistics on Australia's current Refugee and Humanitarian Program

Note: There may be some inconsistencies between the following tables due to variations in the data sources used.

Permanent additions to the resident population by eligibility category, 2003-04 to 2012-13

Year Family Skill Special Eligibility Non-Program Migration* Humanitarian Total Humanitarian as % of total
2003-04 42,187 74,850 937 19,972 12,046 149,992 8.0%
2004-05 43,747 81,893 439 23,712 17,528 167,319 10.5%
2005-06 45,943 91,501 301 25,098 16,964 179,807 9.4%
2006-07 48,769 98,918 163 29,899 14,158 191,907 7.4%
2007-08 50,680 107,469 143 35,919 11,729 205,940 5.7%
2008-09 56,477 118,415 233 34,640 14,854 224,619 6.6%
2009-10 59,453 108,300 654 25,961 14,553 208,921 7.0%
2010-11 54,708 107,656 653 36,416 13,976 213,409 6.5%
2011-12 59,620 123,820 880 46,325 14,620 245,265 6.0%
2012-13 65,389 128,773 1,206 43,473 15,893 254,734 6.2%
Total 526,973 1,041,595 5,609 321,415 146,321 2,041,913 7.2%
*People who migrated without visas (predominantly New Zealanders)

Refugee and Humanitarian Program visa grants by stream,
2007-08 to 2012-13

Year Refugee Special
Humanitarian
Program
Total
Offshore
Onshore Grand
Total
2007-08 5,962 5,026 10,988 2,026 13,014
2008-09 6,499 4,511 11,010 2,497 13,507
2009-10 6,003 3,233 9,236 4,534 13,770
2010-11 5,998 2,973 8,917 4,828 13,799
2011-12 6,004 714 6,718 7,041 13,759
2012-13 12,012 503 12,515 7,504 20,019
Total 42,487 16,960 59,438 28,430 87,868

Refugee and Humanitarian Program visa applications, 2006-07 to 2012-13

Year Applications for offshore (resettlement) visas Applications for onshore (protection) visas Total
Refugee Visa applications SHP Visa applications Total offshore applications Protection Visa applications (plane arrivals) Protection requests
(boat arrivals)
Total onshore applications
2006-07 19,957 60,329 80,286 3,723 23 3,746 84,032
2007-08 12,880 34,451 47,331 3,987 21 4,008 51,339
2008-09 12,853 34,457 48,400 5,072 678 5,750 54,150
2009-10 13,356 33,842 47,198 5,981 4,597 10,578 57,776
2010-11 20,055 22,873 42,928 6,335 5,166 11.501 65,872
2011-12 20,055 22,873 42,928 7,063 7,373 14,436 57,364
2012-13 28,968 21,476 50,444 8,308 18,119 26,427 76,871
Total 138,781 232,177 370,958 40,469 35,977 76,446 447,404

Refugee and Humanitarian visa grants by sub-class, 2008-09 to 2012-13

Visa sub-class 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 Total
Offshore Refugee visas
Refugee (visa subclass 200) 5,653 5,173 5,211 5,140 10,238 31,415
In-country Special Humanitarian (201) 54 24 26 43 71 218
Emergency Rescue (203) 4 - 2 - 30 36
Woman at Risk (204) 788 806 759 821 1,673 4,847
Offshore Special Humanitarian visas
Global Special Humanitarian (202) 4,511 3,233 2,973 714 503 11,934
202 visas granted by
ministerial intervention
75 11 8 2 - 96
Onshore Protection visas
Onshore Temporary Protection (785) 9 - - - - 9
Resolution of Status (851) 39 8 2 1 4 54
Onshore Permanent Protection (866) 2,369 4,515 4,818 7,038 7,504 26,244
Temporary Humanitarian Concern (786) 5 - - - - 5
Total 13,507 13,770 13,799 13,759 20,023 74,858

Top five countries of origin for Humanitarian entrants by visa stream, 2007-08 to 2012-13

Visa class 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
Refugee and
Special
Humanitarian
Burma Iraq Burma Burma Burma Iraq
Iraq Burma Iraq Iraq Iraq Afghanistan
Afghanistan Afghansitan Bhutan Bhutan Afghanistan Burma
Sudan Sudan Afghanistan Afghanistan Bhutan Bhutan
Liberia Bhutan DR Congo DR Congo Ethiopia DR Congo
Onshore
Protection
Sri Lanka China Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan Afghanistan
China Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Iran Iran Iran
Iraq Afghanistan China Stateless Stateless Pakistan
Pakistan Zimbabwe Iraq Sri Lanka Iraq Stateless
Iran Iraq Iran Iraq Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

Refugee and humanitarian entrants by state or territory of settlement,
2007-08 to 2012-13

State/territory % national popn 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 Total
Australian Capital Territory 1.65% 180
(1.9%)
188
(1.6%)
119
(1.2%)
144
(1.6%)
49
(0.7%)
67
(0.8%)
785
(1.4%)
New South Wales 32.14% 2,958 (31.1%) 4,151 (35.6%) 3,180 (32.2%) 2,979 (30.6%) 1,727
(22.8%)
2,748
(32.8%)
17,792
(31.4%)
Northern Territory 1.04% 94
(1.0%)
108
(0.9%)
103
(1.0%)
75
(0.8%)
68
(0.9%)
54
(0.6%)
510
(0.9%)
Queensland 20.10% 976 (10.3%) 1,159 (10.0%) 1,284 (13.0%) 1,354 (14.8%) 1,262
(16.7%)
1,076
(12.8%)
7,065
(12.8%)
South Australia 7.30% 835
(8.8%)
1,013 (8.7%) 952
(9.7%)
1,144 (12.5%) 1,123
(14.9%)
694
(8.3%)
5,623
(10.2%)
Tasmania 2.26% 237
(2.5%)
303
(2.6%)
399
(4.0%)
359
(3.9%)
319
(4.2%)
378
(4.5%)
2,038
(3.7%)
Victoria 24.79% 2,787 (29.3%) 3,035 (26.1%) 2,670 (27.1%) 2,440 (26.7%) 2,234
(29.60%)
2,845
(33.9%)
15,912
(28.6%)
Western Australia 10.71% 1,440 (15.1%) 1,688 (14.5%) 1,149 (11.7%) 817
(8.9%)
751
(9.9%)
527
(6.3%)
6,378
(11.1%)
Total 9,507 11,645 9,856 9,130 7,576 8,389 56,103

Sources

Australian Bureau of Statistics' Australian Demographic Statistics Department of Immigration and Citizenship Settlement Reporting Database, http://www.immi.gov.au/settlement

Department of Immigration and Citizenship Annual Reports http://www.immi.gov.au/about/reports/annual

Department of Immigration and Citizenship annual publications Asylum Trends, Immigration Update and Settler Arrivals, http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/statistics

Some statistics supplied on request by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

 

Last updated March 2014