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

Statistics on people seeking asylum in the community

Who are they? Where do they come from?

Since 2016-2017, the number of applications by people coming by plane has been driven largely by people coming from Malaysia and China. However, the numbers applying from India and Vietnam have also increased.

The number of asylum claims reflects, in part, which citizens can enter Australia on valid visas. For example, there are large numbers of Malaysians and Chinese international students, and many skilled migrants from India.

The top 10 nationalities of those who seek asylum by plane are quite different from those who come by boat, with many more from our surrounding Asia-Pacific neighbours. In the past five years, the main nationalities seeking asylum by plane include those from China, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Vietnam.

The below graph shows the top 10 countries of citizenship for permanent protection visa applicants since 7 September 2013.

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