Legal Aid

The ASRC Human Rights Law Program can offer free legal advice and assistance to people seeking asylum who cannot afford a private lawyer and have no access to government-funded legal advice.

We can provide legal support at all stages of the refugee determination process, including expert immigration advice, representation and outreach to individuals in detention.

The ASRC Human Rights Law Program is currently not operating at our Footscray centre. Please do not arrive at the centre to see a lawyer at this time.

New to the ASRC
If you are a new client, you can call our legal advice line on 0478 700 605 on Monday and Thursday between 10:30am-12pm.

Existing members
If you are an existing legal client, call our duty line on 03 9274 9889 on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday between 10:30am to 12:30 pm and 1:30pm – 4:30pm (during lockdown 10:30am – 2pm), or email legalcasework@asrc.org.au

Individuals in detention
If you are currently in detention, you can email us at legal@asrc.org.au. Please note that we will not respond to email requests from individuals who are not in detention.

Important updates and alerts

For information regarding visa applications please click on the links below:

The ASRC is partnering with a number of law firms and a large number of volunteer lawyers to provide free legal assistance to people from Afghanistan through a “pop-up” legal clinic which will operate for the next 4-6 weeks. Click here for more information.

If you have not had your interview with the Department and need help please call our hotline 0422 035324 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm) or email legal@asrc.org.au with the subject line ‘Protection Visa Interview’.

The application interview is your only chance to explain your case to the Department. Update your contact details with the Department to receive your Interview Invitation (the ASRC can also help you do this). See below for more information.

If you were transferred from Nauru or PNG to Australia for medical treatment, and if your Bridging Visa E is due to expire soon you should urgently contact our Human Rights Law Program for legal assistance. Call our hotline on 0422 035324 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm) or email legal@asrc.org.au< with the subject line ‘BV E Expiry’.
  • If you came to Australia by boat or were transferred to Nauru or PNG, you are subject to rules (called “bars”) in the migration law that prevent you from applying for a visa.
  • You can only make a visa application, including for another Bridging Visa, if the Minister makes a personal decision to remove these rules (called “lifting the bar”) for individual applicants.
  • If you try to apply for another Bridging Visa while the rules are still in place, your visa application will not be valid and cannot be considered. That’s why it is important to make sure you are eligible for another Bridging Visa (ie you already have a  ministerial “bar lift”) before lodging the application for a new Bridging Visa.
  • In the meantime, you should make sure the Department has your current contact details to ensure you do not miss any notification from the Department of any “bar lift”.

Infosheets

The following infosheets cover commonly asked questions and topics about the legal process for people seeking asylum in Australia.

The infosheets contain general information and do not replace legal and migration law advice. You should not rely on the infosheets to make decisions about your immigration matter.

See translation of this infokit in your language:

See also this Guide about which family members you can include in your application here

You can also view answers to Frequently Asked Questions for those who have already lodged their application, here.

For proposing someone for an offshore humanitarian visa click here. See translation of the Australian Proposers infosheet in your language: