If you are seeking protection in Australia and are located outside Australia, you may be eligible to apply for a number of visas that will allow you to resettle in Australia on refugee or humanitarian grounds. The following visas are permanent residency visas.

Refugee Visa (Subclass 200)


The 200 visa is for a person who is living outside of their home country and subject to persecution in that country.

In-Country Special Humanitarian Visa (Subclass 201)

The 201 visa is for a person who is subject to persecution in their home country and who has not been able to leave that country to seek refuge elsewhere.

Global Special Humanitarian Programme (Subclass 202)

The 202 visa is for a person who is living outside of their home country, subject to substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of their human rights in that country, and is proposed by an eligible person or organisation in Australia.

Emergency Rescue Visa (Subclass 203)

The 203 visa is for a person who is subject to persecution in their home country and faces an immediate threat to their life or personal security.

Woman at Risk Visa (Subclass 204)

The 204 visa is for a woman living outside her home country and who is subject to persecution in that country, does not have the protection of a male relative and who is in danger of victimisation, harassment or serious abuse because of her sex.

The criteria for each of these visas vary. However, as a general rule you must demonstrate that:

  • you are being or will be persecuted in your home country, or you have suffered gross violations of your human rights in your home country

  • there are compelling reasons for you to be granted the visa, including having regard to the extent of your family and social connections with Australia

  • you pass the health and character checks.

You may also satisfy the criteria for one of these visas if you are proposed for a visa by a relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, including a relative who has been granted a permanent protection visa. An approved community organisation may also be able to propose you for one of these visas.

Please note that the above criteria are not exhaustive. You should consult one of our experienced Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents for more details about these visas.

You are able to include family members in your application if they satisfy particular criteria. Please consult us for more details.

How we can help

If you are considering applying for protection from outside of Australia, you should note the following:

  • From time to time, the Australian Government places limits on the number of refugee and humanitarian visas that are granted in a year.

  • Many more people apply to be granted refugee and humanitarian visas than there are available visas to be granted.

  • Refugee law changes rapidly and the Department of Immigration will closely scrutinise your application to ensure that it meets current legal requirements.

  • It often takes 12 months or more for a refugee or humanitarian visa to be processed and decisions can be highly discretionary, which means that it is impossible to predict in advance if the application will be successful.