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

Statistics on people seeking asylum in the community

Are they 'genuine' refugees?

The first graph below shows the number of applications granted by country of citizenship, by financial year.

As can be seen, the countries with the highest number of grants are countries that are known for their human rights abuse or political instability. However, the number of grants by itself can be misleading. There may be a small number of grants because there have only been a small number of applications. This is because citizens of countries known for their dire human rights situations often face significant barriers in getting a visa to come to Australia as they are deemed to be at higher risk of seeking asylum.

This second graph shows the grant rate – the percentage of decisions where visas were granted. This shows significant differences in grant rates by country of citizenship.

Some countries, especially in the Middle East, show high rates of grant. However, as mentioned, there are relatively few arrivals from these countries.

The overall grant rate, however, is relatively low, around 10% since 2017-18, dropping significantly from 2015-16.

The monthly statistics published since November 2019 also report a grant rate of around 10%. They also report the rate of people being deported in this group, which is consistently less than 1%.

The below graph shows the average grant rate by country from November 2019, when the monthly statistics published. These rates vary significantly. While most applications are made from the Asia-Pacific, the countries with the highest grant rates are in the Middle East and Venezuela.

Although most of the people lodging are relatively young, children and older people are more likely to be granted protection.

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