On the 14 December 2013 the Government introduced a regulation change which affects the protection visa applications of unauthorised arrivals. Under the amendment, illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs) will not meet the time of decision criteria for a protection visa (subclass 866) grant.
The Minister has indicated that subsequent to the refusal of an IMA’s protection visa application, and subject to all other visa criteria for the following visas being met, he may give consideration to the grant of a humanitarian stay (temporary) (subclass 449) visa in combination with a temporary (humanitarian concern) (subclass 786) visa.
This consideration will only occur where the IMA visa applicant has been assessed as engaging Australia’s protection obligations.
The process for placing people on this pathway can be seen by clicking on the following link to the fact sheet.
People who arrive by boat without a valid visa after 19 July 2013 are subject to regional processing arrangements and will be transferred to Nauru or Papua New Guinea. Any protection claims they may have will be processed in those countries under their law.
Humanitarian stay (temporary) and temporary (humanitarian concern) visa holders will have work rights, and if they are unable to find work, they will have access to relevant benefits. Work is being finalised to facilitate access to mainstream services. In the meantime, the department will support people through its community assistance support programme.