Refugee Council of Australia
Green mural of figures jumping saying refugees and asylum seekers welcome

Statistics on people seeking asylum in the community

People seeking asylum by plane

People can claim asylum after they have come to Australia on a valid visa – for example, as a student or tourist. This may happen because circumstances in their home country change while they are in Australia, or because they come to Australia intending to seek asylum, as there is no visa that allows them to claim asylum before they come to Australia.

How many people are seeking asylum by plane?

The graph below shows the number of people claiming asylum after arriving by plane every month from 7 September 2013 (when the Coalition took power) until 30 April 2021.

This second graph provides the number of people applying for refugee status by plane, and the number of permanent protection visas granted, for each financial year from 2013-2014.

These figures show that, since 2014-2015, the numbers of people seeking asylum by plane has jumped, but the number of those granted protection visas (granted refugee status, after merits review) has declined during the same period.

This third graph tracks the number of lodgments made every month since November 2019. It also includes the numbers of decisions made on refugee status each month, including the numbers granted protection and the numbers not granted protection. As can be seen, relatively few people are granted protection.

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