IMPORTANT: Unless you are qualified to do so you should not provide legal advice to any client
Resources are provided on this page to assist health providers to develop a better understanding of the inherent complexity and uncertainty that asylum seeker clients experience when engaged in the status determination processes. Details of legal resources that can be accessed by clients who are in this situation are also provided.
Asylum claims made in Australia are assessed by the government to determine whether they legally engage the Australian Government’s protection obligations. Over recent years there have been multiple changes to how this processing occurs, and different groups of people are processed in different systems, with different legal entitlements.
Do not provide legal advice unless you are qualified to do so. If a person asks questions about their asylum claim, the health professional should refer them to a legal clinic (details below). Health providers may be asked for reports to support asylum claims. Unless you are an expert in the area of medico-legal asylum reports, health providers should seek advice from the asylum seeker’s lawyer about the purpose and scope of the report. For more information read our information sheet Asylum seeker health: health plans, summaries, reports, letters and referrals.
- Refer your clients to the resources available.
- Refer your client to an asylum seeker legal clinic.
- Encourage your client to keep their contact details up to date with the Department of Immigration.
- Do not write reports to support asylum claims without consultation with the asylum seeker’s lawyer.
Free expert legal advice
Caution should be applied in seeking advice from services that charge a fee, nonetheless it is the client’s decision about whether they would like to access these services. The following services provide free legal advice to asylum seekers in Victoria:
- Refugee Legal (formerly Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (RILC) (03) 9413 0101
- RILC Temporary Protection Visa Clinics
- RILC Telephone advice line, (03) 9413 0100 (Wednesday 10am-2pm and Friday 10am-2pm)
- Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
- ASRC telephone advice line, (03) 9274 9827 (Monday and Thursday, 2pm-4pm)
- You can request assistance or refer a person to the ASRC Human Rights Law Program in three different ways:
1. By email
2. By phone (03) 9274 9827 on Mondays or Thursdays, 2pm-4pm
3. In person 214 – 218 Nicholson Street, Footscray weekdays, 11am-3pm
Primary Application and Information Service (PAIS)
Protection Application and Information Services provides free independent immigration assistance to people assessed as eligible by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). DIBP have announced that in order for a person to meet the criteria for PAIS; they must have arrived by boat between 13 August 2012 and 30 December 2013, and be an Unaccompanied Minors or from another ‘vulnerable group.’
If you have information about a person’s circumstances that might inform their PAIS eligibility assessment, you can do this by providing the information to the person’s case manager or Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) provider, who will then include it in Departmental systems. Seek the person’s consent before submitting information and provide them a copy of the information for their records.
If a person has been invited to apply and has not been offered PAIS assistance, you can request a subsequent PAIS eligibility assessment at any time before the Department has made a decision on their visa application if: (1) you have additional information which the Department did not consider in the initial assessment or (2) you disagree with the outcome of the initial assessment.
You should closely consider the person’s circumstances against the eligibility criteria before requesting an assessment. You can send requests for a subsequent assessment of PAIS eligibility to . Further information prepared DIBP may be accessed here.
Also see Refugee Advice & Casework Services’ (RACS) Fact Sheet: Referring a person for PAIS.
Resources for client
The following resources have been developed for clients and translated into key languages.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre resources:
- Webpage: Six actions for asylum seekers: What can I do while I wait for the Minister to allow me to apply for asylum?
- Information sheets: Multilingual versions of “Six actions for asylum seekers” can be accessed here
- YouTube Video: Changes to Refugee Law (English), (English and Tamil), (English, Persian & Hazaragi)
Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre resources:
- Information sheet: Recent changes for people seeking refugee protection
- Information sheet: Fast track assessment process
Refugee Advice and Case Work Service resources:
- Fact sheets (including flow chart of status determination processes)
- Information sheet: How to write a statement for a protection visa application (English), Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Farsi, Tamil, Turkish, & Urdu
Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (Qld) resources:
- Information sheet: Seeking protection if you arrived without a visa
Refugee Council of Australia resources:
- Information sheet: Did you come by boat to Australia after August 2012
- Information sheet: Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Act 2014: What it means for asylum seekers
Department of Immigration and Border Protection resources:
- Webpage: Protection Application Information and Guides (available in 10 languages)
- Webpage: When will my claims for asylum be considered?