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The Australian Government has announced that all people seeking protection who arrived by boat on or after 13 August 2012 and who have not yet applied for protection must apply for protection before Sunday 1 October 2017. On 1 October, anyone who has not yet applied will not be able to apply for any kind of visa in Australia.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the new deadline.

Does this affect me?

This affects you  if:

  • You came by boat to Australia on or after 13 August 2012 and
  • You are seeking protection (applying for asylum or refugee status) and
  • You have not applied for protection (signed a form asking for refugee status).

You should have a letter from the Department now telling you that this affects you.

I didn't get a letter asking me to apply

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Even if you have not got a letter, you must apply. You should contact the Department to check.

I got a letter saying I had to apply earlier

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If you got a letter saying you had to apply earlier (for example, in the next 60 days), then you will still need to apply before the date that is in the letter. You cannot wait until October.

I came before 13 August 2012 and am still waiting for a visa.

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This does not apply to you.

I applied but haven't got a decision

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This does not affect you if you have applied but have not got a decision from the Department yet.

I have been sent to Australia from Nauru or Manus Island for medical reasons

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This does not apply to you.

I am affected by the data breach

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This does not apply to you.

What do I do now?

If you have not applied and have not asked for help from a lawyer or migration agent

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Talk to a lawyer or migration agent as soon as you can. You can find people who can help you here.

It may take you time to get some help, but these places are doing everything they can to help. While you are waiting, you can help by getting as much information as you can about who you are and what happened to you.

If you are getting money from the government, you should talk to the organisation that gives you the money (for example, Red Cross).

If you have not applied but you are on a waiting list for legal help

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If you are on a list waiting to get legal help, then these people are working very hard to make sure you will get help in time.

You should make sure they have your phone number or email. While you are waiting, you can help by getting as much information as you can about who you are and what happened to you.

I don't know if I have applied

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If you are not sure if you have applied:

  • if you had help, contact your migration agent, lawyer, or the legal service
  • if you did not have help with your application, check with the Department if you have lodged by emailing: tpv.lodgements@border.gov.au.

I cannot apply because I have some problem

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You should email the Department now at tpv.lodgements@border.gov.au and tell them why you can’t:

I have submitted my application, what do I do now?

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You have to wait for the Department of Immigration to contact you for your interview.

Make sure to tell the Department if you change your address, phone number or email. Call 1 300 728 662 or email bvereporting@border.gov.au.

I met with my migration agent/lawyer but I am not sure if I have made an application. What should I do?

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Contact your migration agent or lawyer to find out if the application is finished and has been lodged.

I did not get a letter from the Department of Immigration. What should I do?

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Contact the Department of Immigration on 1 300 728 662 or bvereporting@border.gov.au to get the code for your four (4) hours of free phone interpreting service. Even if you did not get a letter, you still must lodge an application before 1 October 2017.

I find it hard to talk about what happened to me. What can I do?

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Your local torture and trauma service can help you. Find out how to contact your service here.

I am supporting people who are affected

I know people who are not going to be able to apply. What should I do?

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If you are know people who have acute barriers to lodging an application, immediately contact the Department of Immigration on onpro.engagement@border.gov.au.