Refugee Council of Australia
Citizenship ceremony

Settling in Australia: The challenges

Legal issues

Lady justice holding scales of justice and swordLegal issues

Migration advice

It is very difficult for people in need of protection to navigate the complex processes to apply for visas for family members they are hoping to bring to Australia. Having good migration advice is therefore very important, but there are not enough affordable and professional migration agents.

As there are not enough good agents, people are forced to get help from people who may not have the special skills needed to work with former refugees, or who do not understand the complexity of humanitarian migration. This can mean people get poor advice which may put their applications at risk.
As well, the lack of migration services means long processing times for visa applications, because more information is needed. Often applicants will wait years for a decision. This causes enormous stress and makes it difficult for them to settle.

Police and justice

Before they come to Australia, refugees have often experienced persecution, injustice and corruption. Many therefore do not trust police and government. It takes time to rebuild trust and understanding.

Many refugees also do not have a good understanding of the justice system, so they may be reluctant to report crimes or admit to their own legal problems.

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