Refugee Council of Australia
Tents in Manus Island regional processing centre

Offshore processing statistics

Resettlement in the United States and other countries

As of 31 May 2022, 1,006 people have been resettled to the United States. As at 31 August 2021, another 230 had been provisionally approved to resettle in the US (see below graph).

On 24 March 2022, it was announced that Australia and New Zealand had agreed to a further resettlement programme. New Zealand will resettle up to 150 refugees per year for three years from Australia’s existing regional processing cohort under its existing Refugee Quota Programme. Those who will initially be considered will be refugees who:

  • are in Nauru or are temporarily in Australia under regional processing arrangements
  • meet New Zealand’s Refugee Quota Programme requirements;
  • are referred to New Zealand by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and
  • are not engaged in other third country resettlement pathways, such as the United States resettlement arrangement.

This graph shows the total number of people resettled over the years, and the number resettled to the US. The US is by far the largest resettlement destination, with Canada the second largest. The total number of people resettled in Canada was 11 as of 31 March 2020, the last time the Department provided a breakdown of individual resettlement countries.

In Senate estimates in October 2021, the Department indicated it now expected resettlements to continue into 2022 (see p. 112).

The second graph shows the number of people estimated to remain once the US resettlement process finishes, by place of residence. Previously, in October 2020, the government indicated a 'broad number' of around 80 people would be expected to remain on PNG and Nauru after the US resettlement deal ends.

As at 28 February 2019, it was reported that 265 people had been rejected by the US. The Refugee Council of Australia understands that this number has increased since then but further official data is not available.

The government also indicated that while Nauru would continue to host refugees sent there and accept any new arrivals, the Australian Government intended to 'exit' PNG. Those in Australia, under current policy, would not be able to settle in Australia (see page 74 of the linked transcript). In Senate estimates in October 2021, the government confirmed that it would not be providing funding after 1 January 2022 for those left in PNG, and had not sought any commitments in relation to pathways to permanent residency or citizenship for them (see pages 111-112 of the linked transcript).

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