In December 2014, the Australian Government changed the way it determined the refugee claims of people who came by boat. The Australian Government calls this new process ‘fast tracking‘. This affects people who came by boat on or after 13 August 2012. This page tracks this process in the fast tracking statistics published by the Australian Government.
There are also people who came before 13 August 2012, but did not have their protection visa application finalised by 18 September 2013. These people are assessed under the old process. The two groups are referred to by the Department as the ‘Legacy Caseload’.
‘Fast tracking’ replaced the previous independent merits review system with a new body, called the Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA). Under new rules, the IAA would no longer hear directly from people claiming asylum, and would generally be restricted to information before the Department of Immigration.
The Refugee Council and its members have consistently expressed strong concerns about the fairness of this process and the significant risks it creates that people will be returned to persecution or other serious harm.