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Migration Advice

The Legal Services Commission offers immigration and refugee legal advice through its Adelaide office. Free migration information and advice is available to anyone in South Australia.

The Commission's current migration legal advisory service includes the provision of information and advice regarding:

  • onshore protection visas (authorised arrivals);
  • onshore partner visas involving an applicant who has left a relationship due to family violence and/or who has a child with the person who sponsored them;
  • information regarding refusals of these classes of visa by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal;
  • 'split family' humanitarian or family stream visas for recent humanitarian arrivals (for more information about proposing family under the Special Humanitarian Programme please see below);
  • visa cancellations, or refusals, based on a failure of the character test.

All assistance of this nature is subject to a merits test, and the capacity of the migration lawyers at the time of receiving instructions. If the lawyers are unable to assist, they will attempt to make a referral to another appropriate provider.

The Legal Services Commission does not provide advice to applicants for student or skilled visas.


To book an appointment please telephone 8111 5555. The Legal Services Commission can provide interpreters for those people who need them, and this should be requested when booking for an appointment.  

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 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 closeness 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 Completion of forms 681 and 842 is required, together with proof of your Australian permanent residence (e.g. a copy of your ImmiCard). A passport photo is also required for each applicant.

Applications are now lodged online. For further information 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 (i.e non-immediate family) cannot be given assistance due to our limited resources and the lower chance of success in these cases.