Humanitarian Programme-Meeting with UNHCR Division of
International Protection –Friday 20 October 2017.
2017-2018 Humanitarian Programme.
• The 2017-18 Humanitarian Programme has 16,250 places with a notional allocation of
15,550 places for offshore and 750 places for onshore.
• 8140 places are notionally allocated for the Refugee category and 7360 places for the
Special Humanitarian Programme (SHP), which includes 1000 places for the new
Community Support Programme.
• A minimum of 1550 places are for vulnerable women, dependants and children.
• Around 53 per cent of the offshore programme is for resettlement from the Middle East,
27 per cent from Asia, 18 per cent from Africa with a contingency reserve of around 2 per
• The key nationality groups that will be resettled in 2017-18 include Syrians, Iraqis,
Afghans, Congolese from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmarese in Thailand
and Malaysia, Bhutanese, Ethiopians, and Eritreans.
• UNHCR has been provided with a table detailing the number of referrals and the priority
caseloads/nationality groups required in the 17-18 programme year.
o UNHCR has provided initial feedback and proposed referrals for the Asia and
o We will provide comments on their proposed referral numbers.
Priority Regions and Caseloads
• Around 53 per cent of the offshore programme will be for people from the Middle East
o 3920 Refugee
o 4300 SHP
• Priority groups include: Syrians, Iraqis and Iranian Baha’i’s (from Turkey).
• In September 2015, Australia committed to resettling an additional 12,000 places for
people displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq, with a focus on vulnerable people and
o All 12,000 additional humanitarian visas have now been granted and the majority
of these people have arrived in Australia.
• Priority for the 12,000 additional humanitarian places was given to people displaced by
conflict in Syria and Iraq who were assessed as being most vulnerable: persecuted
minorities, women, children and families with the least prospect of ever returning safely
to their homes.
• The overall allocation for Africa has increased in 2017-18 with some 2800 places
o 2330 Refugee
o 470 SHP
• Priority groups that will be resettled are: DRC Congolese, Ethiopians and Eritreans.
• In response to UNHCR’s request that we consider referrals from the Central African
Republic (CAR) located in Chad for resettlement, we have been exploring alternate
processing modalities given the travel ban in place for Chad.
o Thank you to UNHCR for agreeing to provide videoconferencing facilities to
interview this group.
o We are also working with the Department of Settlement Service to identify a suitable
location for this group.
• Around 25 per cent of the offshore programme will be for people from the Asia region.
o 1520 Refugee
o 2590 SHP
• Priority groups include: Myanmarese from Malaysia, Thailand and smaller numbers from
India, Afghans from Pakistan and Bhutanese from Nepal.
• We will also consider small numbers of mixed nationality groups of Afghans, Syrians,
Iraqis and Pakistani minority groups.
Community Support Programme (CSP)
• The legislative framework for the CSP, introduced on 1 July 2017, is designed to provide
a sustainable model of private sponsorship for refugees.
• The CSP enables communities and businesses, as well as families and individuals, to
propose humanitarian visa applicants with employment prospects and support new
humanitarian arrivals in their settlement journey.
• The CSP harnesses community support for refugees, including the willingness of the
Australian business community to support refugees in practical ways through
employment and financial assistance.
• Approved Proposing Organisations (APOs) are individuals, community groups, or
businesses that have applied and been authorised under a Deed with the Department to
propose applicants who are in humanitarian situations overseas.
o The key focus of the APO is to link employers with prospective humanitarian
o The APOs are responsible for lodging visa applications and ensuring the provision
and management of settlement services to these people following their arrival in
• Under the CSP, 54 applications to become an APO were received by the closing date of
28 September 2017.
• There has been considerable interest from community, non-government organisations,
and faith based groups.
• APO applicants are expected to be advised of the outcome of the selection process in the
• APO details will be published on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s
website in December 2017, so that prospective Australian supporters and visa applicants
can contact APOs about applying for a visa.