Refugee Council of Australia
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Information on resettling in Australia

UNHCR referral


UNHCR refers people to be resettled to Australia. To come this way, you must register and be recognised by UNHCR as a refugee. UNHCR typically resettles between 4,000-7,000 people a year in Australia.

You can find the UNHCR offices in each country here. Each UNHCR office will have information about its process, including:

Read more about who Australia resettles through UNHCR.

Sponsorship by a family member

If you have a family member who is in Australia, you may be able to come to Australia.

This page gives you some information, but there are many things to know about this. You should try and get advice before applying.

Information on family reunion

Migration advice

Immediate family members of people on a refugee visa

You might be able to come to Australia if you are:

  • an ‘immediate family member’ of
  • someone who has come to Australia in the last five years
  • on a refugee visa (subclasses 200, 201, 203 and 204). 
This does not apply to people who came by boat on or after 13 August 2012.

You must be one of:

  • a husband, wife or de facto partner
  • a child or stepchild under 18 years old, or a child who depends upon the person in Australia, or
  • if the person is Australia is under 18 years of age, a parent or step-parent.

Learn more about split family 

Proposals under the Special Humanitarian Program

If a member of your family in Australia does not have a refugee visa, you may still be able to come under the Special Humanitarian Program. There are a lot of people waiting to come to Australia this way.

This does not apply if your family member came by boat seeking asylum on or after 13 August 2012.

Some applications will be looked at before others. This depends on what kind of visa your family member has, and how close you are to that family member.Read for more information on the Special Humanitarian Program.

Sponsorship by someone else in Australia

The Refugee Council of Australia cannot sponsor anyone to apply to come to Australia.

Someone in Australia can sponsor you to come to Australia under the Community Support Program. To apply, you must have people in Australia willing to support you.

You also have to be

  • between 18 and 50 years old
  • be able to speak English and
  • have an offer of a job or can get a job quickly.

To apply, you must go through an ‘Approved Proposing Organisation’.

This can be a very expensive program. There are also very few places in the Program.

Community support program

Join us

We need you to show our government that Australia cares about refugees. Help us by joining the movement so we can protect refugees, not punish them.


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