How many people have been sent offshore under Australia’s policy of offshore processing? What has happened to these people? This page consolidates a range of offshore processing statistics, from official and unofficial sources.
What is offshore processing?
Since 13 August 2012, Australia has resumed sending people who came by boat to Australia seeking asylum to Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea under a policy of offshore processing. Since 19 July 2013, the Australian Government’s policy is that no one in this group will ever be resettled in Australia, even if they are recognised as refugees.
The Australian Government ended its arrangement with PNG on 31 December 2021, although Nauru is expected to continue to host refugees sent there and accept any new arrivals. The Australian Government did not seek any commitments for the PNG Government to provide the 105 people left in PNG with permanent residency or citizenship, and did not provide any funding for them (see pages 111-112 of the linked transcript), although it did provide funding to the PNG Government under a confidential deal.
About the offshore processing statistics
This page collects data from a range of sources:
- totals in PNG and Nauru, and resettlement figures, have been published monthly by the Department of Home Affairs since January 2020
- answers to questions asked by Senators (Senate estimates) published quarterly, which is often out of date and limited by how and when the question was asked
- removals and returns, and data on those living in Regional Processing Centres in previous years, through monthly updates on Operation Sovereign Borders by the Australian Border Force and the Department of Home Affairs’ monthly detention statistics.