Refugee Council of Australia
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Offshore processing statistics

Offshore processing

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.

Australia’s offshore processing regime

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:

Data on numbers in Nauru and resettlement to third countries is from 31 May 2024, unless otherwise specified. Statistics from the latest Budget estimates are from 31 August 2023. The Department does not provide data on people transferred to PNG after 31 December 2021, on the basis that its agreement with PNG ended on that date. You can find the sources and data underneath each chart.

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