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Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 17:45:36 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: Fwd: Refugee and Humanitarian Applications
Cc: "Canadian government":;, Press:;, "South African government":;

Hi everyone,

As most of you know I was in touch with the Harare and Pretoria Australian High Commissions after I received some detailed instructions as to how to go about applying for asylum in Australia. I received a canned reply from the Pretoria AHC and nothing from Harare. I sent to this list a link to a copy of the canned reply on the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) Web site, as well as a copy of the detailed instructions I had received. Since I had not received official confirmation of the procedures, I left it up to those interested to attempt to verify the procedures locally.

However, a couple of days ago I received another message from the DIMA (below). I presume that this one came from Canberra. It's not quite as canned as the one I received from Pretoria, but not as detailed as the instructions I had received. I hope it is of some use to some of you.


From: renuka.thilagaratnam@immi.gov.au
Importance: Normal
Subject: Refugee and Humanitarian Applications
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 10:35:44 +1000

Dear Craig

Thank you for your e-mail enquiry.

There are currently no special arrangements for Zimbabweans to come to Australia. The Australian Government is keeping a watching brief on the situation in Zimbabwe. Should the situation deteriorate and the international community determines there is a need to assist, Australia will consider providing assistance in an international burden-sharing context.

In the meantime, any Zimbabwean wishing to apply for migration to Australia is able to do so under existing legislation and their application will be considered against the criteria that applies to the type of visa category that they apply under. The requirements for migrating to Australia are set out in Australia's Migration Act and Regulations.

Individuals seeking entry to Australia under the Humanitarian Program are assessed against the Refugee and Humanitarian (Migrant) (Class BA) visa class, which has five subclasses. An applicant must be assessed as meeting all the requirements in at least one of these subclasses before being granted a visa to migrate to Australia.

Australia's Humanitarian Program has been developed to provide protection, through permanent resettlement in Australia to people who are outside their home country and unable to return as they are subject to persecution, discrimination or human rights abuses there.

The Humanitarian Program targets those in greatest relative need of resettlement and who have no other option. Applicants who have access to another nationality or who have right of residence in another country where they do not face persecution would not be eligible for resettlement.

Applicants who wish to apply for a Refugee and Humanitarian (Migrant) (Class BA) visa for permanent resettlement in Australia have to complete Form 842, Application for a Permanent Visa on Refugee or Humanitarian Grounds. There is no charge for this form or for lodging an application. This form can only be lodged outside Australia, and should be lodged at the applicant's nearest Australian mission (Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or Consulate-General).

The main requirements for the Refugee and Global Special Humanitarian visa subclasses are:

To migrate to Australia under this subclass, an applicant must be:
living outside his/her home country;
subject to persecution in his/her home country; and
in need of resettlement.

The UNHCR provides advice to the Australian Government on the need for resettlement.

Global Special Humanitarian Program
To migrate to Australia under this subclass, an applicant must:
be subject to substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of his/her human rights in his/her home country;
be living outside his/her home country;
include a valid from 681 Refugee and Special Humanitarian Proposal with the application.

Form 681 is available from offices of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) in Australia. The form may be completed by an Australian citizen or permanent resident or community organisation in Australia willing to support the application. There is no charge for form 681.

There is strong interest in humanitarian migration to Australia and only a limited number of places is available. Processing times may be lengthy. The average processing time worldwide is approximately 10 months for applications under the Refugee category and 18 months for those under the Global Special Humanitarian Program.

Applicants may need to have a medical and an X-ray examination as part of the assessment of their application. They may also be asked to undergo medical treatment. The Australian Government reserves the right to conduct character checks on all adult applicants.

The Australian Government will pay the costs of health and character processing for applicants who are granted a visa under the Refugee category. The Australian Government will also meet travel costs, including airfares, of people approved under this category if they do not have access to more than $AUD 10,000 for an individual or $AUD 20,000 for a family.

The Australian Government does not pay the costs for medical or X-ray examinations, medical treatment or character checks for applicants under the Global Special Humanitarian Program. The applicant or the applicant's proposer in Australia must pay these costs. Successful applicants under the Global Special Humanitarian Program or their proposers must pay for the applicant's travel, including airfares, to Australia.

I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Renuka Thilagaratnam

Humanitarian Program Section

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