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AR LAW Services  |  Lawyers & Consultants  |  Masters of Australian Migration and Visa Law

Refugee & Protection Visas

Superior Advice: Intelligent Solutions

Refugee & Protection Visas Australia

On this page you will learn how we can help you with:

Refugee. Women at Risk. Humanitarian Visas. Safe Haven. SHEV & Protection Visas

Let us help.

Applications or Appeals

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) Tribunal, Federal Circuit Court & High Court of Australia.

Anthony Robinson is not just a lawyer. He is a miracle worker… He is really professional and has an exceptional knowledge of the forever changing immigration laws. He and his team are really caring and patient.. we went to him pretty much hopeless thinking it would take a long battle in the federal court to win our case and it didn’t even get there as he won the case in tribunal… he is the best immigration lawyer we have ever met and in our belief being on top of his game is what makes him an exceptional lawyer.. we would definitely recommend AR Law services…We cannot thank you enough Anthony…

Sara Shaw
(Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) Tribunal Appeal)

Mr Anthony Robinson is my family’s lawyer and has been managing our protection visa application. Recently he won ”citizenship” for my daughter. it was a complex case because although she was born here my husband and I are from overseas: so she was not considered to be an Australian citizen even-though she was born here. We are so happy and have no hesitation in recommending  AR LAW Services.

Happy Happy


In the broad a refugee is a person who has fled his or her own country and cannot return due to fear of persecution and has been given refugee status. Refugee status is given to applicants by the United Nations or by a third-party country, such as Australia.

According to the United Nations Convention relating to the status of Refugees as amended by its 1967 Protocol (the Refugee Convention), a refugee is a person who is:

Outside their own country and has a well-founded fear of persecution due to his/ her race, religion, nationality, member of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable or unwilling to return.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) currently estimates there are nearly 20 million refugees in the world.



  • Protection (subclass 866) visa for people who are in Australia and are subject to persecution in their home country. Applicants will also be assessed against Complementary Protection criteria, namely whether there is a real risk that the person will suffer certain types of harm if returned home.
  • Temporary Protection (subclass 785) visa for people who arrived in Australia as unlawful maritime arrivals (i.e., by boat, without a valid visa) who have been advised by the Department of Home Affairs that they may lodge a subclass 785 visa application or who already hold a subclass 785 or subclass 790 visa.

This visa allows holders to live, work and study in Australia for three years, and can only apply for another subclass 785 or a Safe Haven Enterprise (subclass 790) visa while they are in Australia.

  • Safe Haven Enterprise (subclass 790) visa for people who arrived in Australia as unlawful maritime arrivals (i.e., by boat, without a valid visa) who have been advised by the Department of Home Affairs that they may lodge a subclass 790 visa application or who already hold a subclass 785 or subclass 790 visa.


More about the ABOUT SUBCLASS 866

On 28 July 1951, the Refugee Convention was adopted by a United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries, in Geneva. Australia became a party (acceded) to the Convention on 22 January 1954. The Refugee Convention came into force on 21 April 1954.

Australia is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol. This means that Australia has voluntarily committed to comply with their provisions in good faith and to take the necessary steps to give effect to those treaties under domestic law (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Article 26).

Under Article 33(1) of the Refugee Convention, Australia has an obligation not to:

“… expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”.



To be a refugee in Australia, an asylum seeker must be assessed as meeting certain legal criteria. The meaning of a ‘refugee’ in the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) is a person in Australia who is:

  • outside their country of nationality or former habitual residence (their home country) and
  • owing to a ‘well-founded fear of persecution’, is unable or unwilling to return to their home country or to seek the protection of that country.

This definition is forward-looking. Even if a person has suffered persecution in the past, they are not a refugee by the meaning in the Act unless they have a well-founded fear of persecution and there is a real chance they will be persecuted in their home country now, if they were to return. However, past events could establish a real chance of persecution if the person were to return.

A person might become a refugee after arriving in Australia. This could occur if there is a change of circumstances in their home country or a change in personal circumstances after they left that gives them a well-founded fear of persecution if they were to return.

Fear of Persecution for:

Section s5j(1)(a) of the Migration Act provides an exhaustive list of the five reasons for which a person may claim that a persecutor is motivated to inflict harm upon them. The five reasons are consistent with those in Article 1A(2) of the Refugees Convention. The reasons are:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership of a particular social group (PSG – family and non-family)
  • Political opinion.


Complementary protection is protection for those who are not refugees according to the Act, but who can’t return to their home country because they will suffer certain types of harm which engage Australia’s other protection obligations.

These obligations come from the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and have been incorporated into the Act.

A person can be granted a protection visa on the basis of complementary protection if there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk the person will suffer ‘significant harm’ if they were removed from Australia to their home country.

The complimentary protection provisions enable visa applicants to claim protection on broader grounds than those contained in the Refugee Convention, reflecting Australia’s obligations under international human rights law.

International human rights law precludes countries from sending people back to places where they face a real risk of being arbitrarily deprived of their life, or a real risk of being tortured or exposed to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.



  • Refugee (subclass 200) visa for people who the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has referred to Australia for re-settlement.
  • In-Country Special Humanitarian (subclass 201) visa for people who are still living in their country and have been unable to leave.
  • Global Special Humanitarian (subclass 202) visa for people who are subject to substantial discrimination in their home country, and have an Australian citizen, permanent resident or organisation willing to propose them.
  • Emergency Rescue (subclass 203) visa for people who the UNHCR has referred to Australia as they are in imminent danger.
  • Woman at Risk (subclass 204) visa for women living outside their home country without the protection of a male relative and who are in danger of victimisation, harassment or serious abuse because of their gender.

Resettlement places are very limited and the availability each year for the grant of Refugee and Humanitarian visas and as a result, only applicants in the most compelling circumstances are generally granted visas to come to Australia.

Prospective Refugee and Humanitarian visa applicants with an Australian proposer or supporter may wish to consider lodging an Expression of Interest with an approved Community Support Program (CSP) Approved Proposing Organisation in Australia.


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Be advised the Information on this website does not constitute legal advice nor personal/corporate migration advice and should not be treated as such. It is information of a general nature and should not be relied on. For an assessment of your personal circumstances and formal legal/visa advice please speak to our accredited Immigration Lawyer.