When will my claims for asylum be considered?

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If you arrived illegally on or after 13 August 2012

We have started inviting people who arrived illegally by boat on or after 13 August 2012 and who are eligible for onshore processing to apply for a protection visa. There are many thousands of people in this group so it will take a long time to process them all. We are generally inviting people to apply in the order they arrived, from first to last. However, we are prioritising particular groups, such as people in detention.

  1. Already invited

    We have already invited people who arrived in Australia from 13 August to 31 October 2012 to apply for a visa. Read More

  2. Currently inviting

    We are currently inviting people who arrived in Australia from 1 November 2012 to 30 April 2013 to apply for a visa. Read More

  3. Soon to be Invited

    We will soon be inviting people who arrived from 1 October to 31 December 2013 to apply for a visa.

    Read More

  4. Wait to be invited

    People who arrived in Australia from 1 June to 31 December 2013 must wait until it is their turn to apply for a visa. Read More

Most people who arrived in Australia from 13 August to 31 October 2012 have already been invited to apply for a protection visa.

If you have been invited to apply for a protection visa, you should lodge your application within the period of time given in your invitation to apply. Read the PAIG to help you lodge your application.

If you arrived in Australia within this date range and have not been invited to apply, this could be because the Minister has not yet lifted the bar. The Minister could decide not to allow you to apply for a visa yet for a number of reasons.

If you have not received an invitation to apply and think you should have, make sure we have your current contact details. To update your contact details, call 1300 728 662 with your name, date of birth, boat identification number, home address and contact phone number.

Find out what you can do while you are waiting to be invited to apply.

If you want to access personal information we hold, you can lodge a freedom of information request. However, you do not need to provide documents we already hold when you apply for a protection visa.

We are currently sending invitations to apply for a protection visa to people who arrived during this period and who are eligible to be processed under the Fast Track Assessment process. When you receive an invitation, you should apply for a protection visa within the period of time given in your invitation to apply. Read the PAIG to help you lodge your application.

If you want to access personal information we hold, you can lodge a freedom of information request. However, you do not need to provide documents we already hold when you apply for a protection visa.

We will send you an invitation letter when it is your turn to apply. Be patient and wait for this invitation.

In the meantime, you are still barred from applying for a visa. Only the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection can decide to lift this bar so you can lodge a valid visa application. If you lodge an application before the bar is lifted, it will be invalid.

What you can do while waiting for your turn to apply

It is important for you to keep your contact details current with us. This includes the address where you live and your phone number so we can contact you with important information about your immigration status. Remember, this is also a condition of holding a bridging visa and being able to live in the community.

To update your contact details, call 1300 728 662 with your name, date of birth, boat identification number, home address and contact phone number.

You can start preparing the information and documents that you will need to provide us when it is your turn to apply. You can help us process your case as quickly as possible by giving complete and truthful information.

As part of any visa application that you make, you will be required to give us evidence of your identity, nationality and citizenship. You should take all reasonable steps to provide genuine, original documents that have been given to you by your country of origin or other countries you have travelled through or lived in to prove your identity and family relationships (such as passports, birth and marriage certificates or identity cards).

When we invite you to apply for a protection visa, it is important to give us your protection claims early and in full. If you do not give us all of your protection claims and we refuse your application, you will probably not have another chance to provide these claims.

You will not need to include documents in your application that you have previously given to us. Any advice stating that you are required to lodge a freedom of information (FOI) request to get these documents before lodging a protection visa application is incorrect.

However, if you still think you need personal information that we hold to prepare your application, you are entitled to ask for it by lodging an FOI request. Wait until you are next in line to be invited to apply for a protection visa before lodging an FOI request. This will allow us to process requests more efficiently and give priority to requests from people who have already been invited to apply.

To help you apply for protection, we have developed Protection Application Information and Guides (PAIG). These guides provide clear instructions and information about the protection application and assessment process.

If you arrived illegally before 13 August 2012

If you have already made protection claims, they are currently being processed. It is important for you to keep your contact details current with us so we can contact you with any questions or requests for information. Remember, this is also a condition of holding a bridging visa and being able to live in the community.

To update your contact details, call 1300 728 662 with your name, date of birth, boat identification number, home address and contact phone number.

If assessment of your claims results in you being found to engage Australia's protection obligations and you meet other requirements, we will grant you a Temporary Protection visa. If you want to, you can apply for a Safe Haven Enterprise visa instead.

If you are found not to engage Australia's protection obligations, you will be expected to return to your home country or to another country where you have right of entry and long-term stay.

Illegal boat arrivals after 1 January 2014

No-one who tries to travel to Australia illegally by boat after 1 January 2014 will be processed or resettled in Australia. Australia’s policy remains to safely turn back boats or send people to another country for processing.

These measures have been introduced to stop people smugglers exploiting vulnerable people and to prevent loss of life at sea.

What happens when your bridging visa ceases

Check your visa grant letter to find out when your bridging visa ceases. We will contact you around this time to tell you what will happen. This is why it is important that you keep your contact details current with us.

Voluntary returns

You can choose to return home or to your country of lawful permanent residence at any time. If you are thinking about returning home, you might be able to get assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The type of assistance is based on your individual circumstances.

An image of a family photo with the words 'Thinking of home?'

What can I do while waiting to be invited to apply?

You can prepare for when it is your turn to apply by learning more about the application process through the Protection Application Information and Guides (PAIG). You can also make sure you have original and genuine documents as evidence of your identity, nationality and citizenship, and gather any evidence you have not already given us to support your claims for protection.

It is important for you to keep your contact details current with us. This includes the address where you live and your phone number so we can contact you with important information about your immigration status. Remember, this is also a condition of holding a bridging visa and being able to live in the community. To update your contact details, call 1300 728 662 with your name, date of birth, boat identification number, home address and contact phone number.

When should I lodge an FOI request?

You do not need to lodge a freedom of information (FOI) request to get documents you have already given us.

However, if you think you need personal information that we hold to prepare your visa application, you should wait until you are being invited to apply, or are next in line to be invited to apply before lodging an FOI request. If you lodge an FOI request too early, we will return your FOI request to you and ask you to wait until you are closer to being invited to apply.

This allows us to process FOI requests efficiently and to give priority to requests from people who have already been invited to apply.

It is important that you identify which specific documents you are requesting copies of. The FOI Act allows for 30 days to process an FOI request. However, where there are difficulties accessing requested documents, more time may be required.

When will I be invited to apply for a visa?

We are gradually inviting IMAs who arrived in Australia before 1 January 2014 to apply for a TPV or a SHEV. We are generally inviting people to apply in the order they arrived, from first to last. However, we are prioritising particular groups, such as people in detention.

You need to wait until it is your turn to apply for a protection visa. You can find out which date ranges of people are currently being invited to apply for a visa and who is next in line.

When it is your turn to apply, we will send you an invitation letter. In the meantime, you are still barred from applying for a protection visa. Only the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection can decide to allow you to lodge a valid protection visa application. If you lodge an application before then, it will be invalid and will not be processed.