Proposing family under the Special Humanitarian Programme


People who are recent arrivals in Australia through the government’s Special Humanitarian Programme may wish to make an application on behalf of other family members.

As an Australian permanent resident you may lodge an application proposing other family members for consideration under the Special Humanitarian Programme.

There are rules about the who is eligible for these visas and who can act as a proposer. Detailed information can be found at the Special Humanitarian Programme page on the Department of Immigration’s website.

Applications are prioritised depending on the closesness of the relationship between the family member and the proposer.

Where the person you wish to propose is considered to be immediate family they will be assessed under the ‘split family’ provisions. They are generally given a higher priority by the Department of Immigration, and it is not necessary for them to be living outside their home country as a refugee.

All non-immediate family members are eligible to apply only if they are living outside their home country and they are unable to return due to a fear of persecution or substantial discrimination. Detailed reasons are necessary to support the fear of persecution or discrimination.

The necessary forms are available from the Department of Immigration’s website at www.border.gov.au. Completion of forms 681 and 842 is required, together with proof of your Australian permanent residence (e.g. a copy of your ImmiCard). Family members will need to provide 8 colour passport photos each, with their names written in English on the back of the photos for identification.

Applications for family members living in the Middle East (i.e. Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen) must be lodged with the Victorian Special Humantiarian Processing Centre.

All other applications (i.e. for family members living in Asia, Africa, South America and Afghanistan and Pakistan) must be lodged with the NSW Special Humanitarian Processing Centre. For further information on lodging applications see ‘Lodging certain humanitarian applications in Australia’ on the Immigration Department’s website.

The Legal Services Commission can provide free advice about eligibility to propose family members under the Special Humanitarian Programme, and whilst we will attempt to provide minor assistance for applications falling within the ‘split family’ provisions, this assistance will be subject to our guidelines and our capacity when the request is being made.

Applications falling outside of the ‘split family’ provisions cannot be guaranteed assistance due to our limited resources and the lower chance of success in these cases.




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