Refugee Council of Australia
Tents in Manus Island regional processing centre

Offshore processing statistics

People transferred to Australia

How many people transferred to offshore processing are in Australia?

As of 31 December 2023, there are 1,046 people transferred offshore on or after 19 July 2013 (‘transitory persons’) in Australia (p. 40).  The Australian Government considers their stay in Australia temporary.

The statistics on this page primarily focuses on ‘transitory persons’. As with other data, because most of these numbers have been provided through Senate estimates at different points in time, the total numbers vary.

The next graph shows where people transferred offshore and now in Australia are.


Where are they?

The graph below breaks down the latest information on where people subject to offshore processing are in Australia, by state and territory and by visa status.

Are these people detained?

People transferred from offshore processing do not have a valid visa. Under Australian law, this means they must be detained, including in 'Alternative Places of Detention' (APODs).

The Minister can, however, either release them into 'community detention' under a 'residence determination' (meaning they can live in the community, with restrictions on movement).

Australia's detention policies

Over time, the Minister has released people into community detention. This graph show how the Minister exercised his or her power to allow people to live in the community over a period of time.

The graph below shows the number of people in community detention, by age.

People transferred offshore on 'bridging visas'

The Minister can also grant people 'bridging visas'. In August and September 2020, the Minister granted bridging visas E to a significant number of people who had previously been in community detention, including families with children.

For this group, the visas were usually granted for six months with the right to work and access Medicare. People on those visas usually cannot get other types of support, like income or casework support.

This limited visa status and the experiences of people transferred offshore meant that it was very difficult for people to get work. This left many without housing and income and overwhelmed the already stretched charities and NGOs.

This graph shows the number of bridging visas granted since 1 July 2018.

What support are these people getting?

People transferred offshore may receive support under the Status Resolution Support scheme, including income support. This next graph shows that less than half of the people transferred to Australia are receiving income support.

Status Resolution Support Services

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