Refugee Council of Australia
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How many refugees have come to Australia?

Changes in the Refugee and Humanitarian Program


This graph reflects the different ‘streams’ of the refugee program. This groups the kinds of visas into ‘streams’. As already noted, the size of the ‘onshore’ part is misleading. This reflects changes in policy which have made it much harder to get protection.

This graph compares the kinds of visas ('subclasses') granted under the refugee program over time.

The 'offshore' visas (granted to people overseas) are in shades of green, and the 'onshore' visas (granted in Australia) are in shades of pink. The Refugee visa is mostly used for refugees recommended for resettlement by UNHCR. This graph shows that this has become a smaller part of the offshore program.

Instead, more people are now resettled on a Global Special Humanitarian visa. This is often used by refugees already in Australia who are applying for family members.

We have included those on temporary protection visas in this graph. These are people who would have been granted permanent protection before.

The graph shows when a visa was granted, not when a person came to Australia. The people who have been granted temporary protection arrived several years before. They have been waiting years to be granted protection because of changes in refugee policy.

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