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Refugee Council of Australia
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Home > Statistics > Statistics on people seeking asylum in the community

Statistics on people seeking asylum in the community

There are thousands of people seeking asylum living in the Australian community. Some of these people have come to Australia by plane, and sought asylum afterwards. Some of them have come to Australia by boat.

The way they came affects whether they are detained, the conditions of their visas, and how their claim for protection is determined. This page includes asylum statistics in Australia for people seeking asylum living in the community, including those who come by plane (plane arrivals) and those who come by boat (boat arrivals).

Australia’s asylum policies

This page does not include people seeking asylum who are in detention, including ‘community detention’. This is a form of detention where people are housed in the community, but must live in a place specified by the government. These statistics are reported separately and are included in our detention statistics.

Statistics on people in detention

Asylum statistics in Australia

The way people come also affects the way statistics are reported. There are fewer statistics on people who came by plane. There are more detailed statistics on people who came by boat, but its publication has varied over time.

The Department has published some data on those who have come by plane since 2014-2015, although this has been irregular. We have supplemented this with data provided through Senate estimates.

Since November 2019, however, the Department is required by the Australian Parliament to publish monthly updates on the processing of onshore protection claims (which, because those who come by boat are no longer entitled to permanent protection, are made by those who come by plane). This data is now included on this page up until 31 March 2020.

Most of the statistics on this page come from the Department of Home Affairs (formerly the Department of Immigration and Border Protection), which publishes details for people who came by boat living in the community on a ‘Bridging Visa E’, which is the type of visa they are living on in the community. This has been published roughly quarterly over the past few years, and provides statistics on where people are living in their community, including their gender, age, and nationality. This page includes the statistics as at 31 March 2019, which is the latest so far available.

This data overlaps with some of the same data reported in the fast-tracking statistics now published by the Department, which are published monthly. Other statistics come from answers to questions on notice to Senate estimates. You can view or download the data for these graphs on this page.

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Contact us

Do you have a question about our statistics, or would you like to know more information? Contact us at policy@refugeecouncil.org.au.