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
I got a letter saying I had to apply earlier
I came before 13 August 2012 and am still waiting for a visa.
I applied but haven't got a decision
I have been sent to Australia from Nauru or Manus Island for medical reasons
What do I do now?
If you have not applied and have not asked for help from a lawyer or migration agent
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
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
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: email@example.com.
I cannot apply because I have some problem
You should email the Department now at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them why you can’t:
I have submitted my application, what do I do now?
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 email@example.com.
I met with my migration agent/lawyer but I am not sure if I have made an application. What should I do?
I did not get a letter from the Department of Immigration. What should I do?
Contact the Department of Immigration on 1 300 728 662 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
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?
If you are know people who have acute barriers to lodging an application, immediately contact the Department of Immigration on email@example.com.