People seeking asylum from within Australia

People who arrived by air​

Most people who seek asylum in Australia arrive on an airplane.

Last year, 27,931 people sought asylum in Australia after arriving here by air.

By the end of the year, 1,425 visas had been granted, but around 20,000 applications still remained unprocessed.

Chart of asylum applications in Australia 2017/18
Asylum applications in Australia
Map of asylum applications by country of citizenship
Asylum applications by country of citizenship
Map of asylum granted by country of citizenship
Asylum granted by country of citizenship

People who arrived by sea

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton maintains a segregated application process for people who arrive in Australia by sea.
Called ‘Fast Track’, it gives people only limited legal rights.

People on the ‘Fast Track’ have been waiting in Australia for up to 7 years for their applications to be processed.

Timeline of people seeking asylum in Australia by sea
  • 31,015 people who arrived in Australia by sea have used the Fast Track process.
  • 22,280 applications have been processed so far – 15,553 have been granted, and 3,727 refused.
  • 8,735 applications are still being processed.
Chart of fast track process asylum applications
Fast Track Applications

Cuts to the SRSS

Chart: 79% of people on SRSS risk homelessness
SRSS Homelessness

People in Australia waiting to have their asylum case decided don’t have automatic access to government services like Centrelink or Medicare.

Many of them are not allowed to work.

For those struggling to survive, the only assistance available to them is the SRSS (Status Resolution Support Services), which provides modest income support, trauma support services, and medical care. In 2018, there were 13,299 people supported by the SRSS. 28% of these were under 15 years old. 

Chart of SRSS Recipients by Age
SRSS Recipients by Age
Chart: 8000 people may be cut off from SRSS
People cut off of SRSS

In the past two years, the government has cut the budget for SRSS by 60%. As many as 8,000 people may be cut off of SRSS support due to these cuts.