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Refugee Visa – Subclass 200

What is Subclass 200 Visa?

Refugee visa – Subclass 200 forms part of the Refugee category of the humanitarian program. The primary criteria provide for grant of a visa to an applicant in three circumstances:

  • A person living outside their home country and who is subject to persecution in that country.

  • A person who has been certified by a relevant Minister as being part of class of persons, and a risk of harm for this reason.

  • A member of the immediate family of a proposer who holds or held a Subclass 200 visa (split family). [insert hyperlink to split family article]

Regardless of which pathway is taken, an Applicant must be outside Australia both when the visa application is lodged and when the visa is granted.

+ What is Visa Capping?

Under section 85 of the Migration Act, the Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine the maximum number of visas in a specified class that may be granted in a specified program year. This establishes a numerical limit (“cap”) on that visa class.

At the time of writing, there is no legislative instrument for refugee and protection visa in regard to visa capping. The current prioritisation order is as follows:

  • Emergency Rescue Subclass 203 visa
  • Woman at Risk Subclass 204 visa
  • In-country Special Humanitarian Subclass 201 visa
  • Refugee Subclass 200 visa
  • Global Special Humanitarian Subclass 202 visa

What is the Application Process?

The Applicant must satisfy the following requirements:

+ What is Requirement 1: Living outside their home country?

The Applicant must be living outside their home country at the time of application as well as before the decision is made.

+ What is Requirement 2: Persecution in the home country?

The Applicant must demonstrate that they are subject to persecution in their home country. The term, ‘persecution’ is given its ordinary meaning. Oxford Dictionary defines ‘persecution’ as:

"Hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs; oppression"

Persecution requires repeated or persistent oppression, injury, maltreatment or harassment. The Applicant will be assessed on the available provided evidence to determine whether they are open to, exposed to, or under the domination of persecutory acts in their home country. Evidence of persecution includes, but is not limited to:

  • Threats to the Applicant’s life, liberty or security;
  • Continued periodic harassment, detention or arrest
  • Arbitrary arrest, detention or exile
  • Exile from the home country or to a remote area within that country.
  • Torture, or cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Slavery
  • Servitude without compensation
  • Confiscation of property or assets
  • Indoctrination or re-education

+ What is Requirement 3: Compelling Reason?

There must be compelling reasons for giving special consideration to granting the Applicant a permanent visa, including:

  • The degree of persecution the Applicant is subject to in their home country;
  • The extend of the Applicant’s connections with Australia;
  • If there is a suitable country available to the Applicant, other than Australia;
  • The capacity of the Australian community to provide for the Applicant’s settlement;

+ What is Requirement 4: Connection with Australia?

Split-family cases [insert hyperlink to split family article] are given the highest priority for the grant of a permanent visa. The priority order in assessing cases which claim a link to Australia is as follows:

  • The Applicant has a partner, child or sibling in Australia
  • The Applicant has a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or cousin in Australia
  • The Applicant has a friend or distant relative, or has been proposed by an organisation in Australia

+ What is Requirement 5: Capacity of the Australian Community to provide Resettlement?

As the number of applications for humanitarian visa continues to exceed Australia’s capacity to take in refugees, the humanitarian program is designed to ensure that the available visa places go to those in greatest need of resettlement and who do not have any other durable solution available to them. It is important to note that even if the Applicant is able to satisfy all the requirements, this will not automatically guarantee the grant of a Refugee (Subclass 200) visa.

This is reflected in the Migration Regulations, which stipulates that the granting of a Subclass 200 visa must not result in either:

  • The number of Subclass 200 visas granted in a financial year exceeding the maximum number of Subclass 200 visas, as determined by the Minister by legislative instrument, that may be granted in that financial year; or
  • The number of visas of particular classes (including Subclass 200) granted in a financial year exceeding the maximum number of visas of those classes, as determined by the Minister by legislative instrument, that may be granted in that financial year.

The Australian Government decides the overall size of the humanitarian program, the regional composition of the offshore component and the approximate number of visas to be granted in the refugee and the special humanitarian program categories. These decisions are assessed according to relevant factors including advice from the UNHCR on global resettlement needs and priorities, the views of stakeholders in Australia and the Australian community’s capacity to provide for the permanent settlement of humanitarian entrants.

What We Like About This Visa?

There is no criterion requiring the applicant to be registered with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or the government authorities in the country of refuge. In practice, however, most XB-200 applicants have been mandated as refugees by UNHCR and have been referred to the department for resettlement.

Although registration is not a requirement for XB-200, applicants should be asked to provide evidence of registration with UNHCR and the local authorities in the country of first refuge. This is to ensure that:

  • the person is afforded necessary protection and care

  • coordinated approaches to various resettlement countries occur, by emphasizing the need for international burden sharing in regard to resettlement and

  • all persons receive counselling as to the possibilities for their future, including possible return to their home country, local integration or resettlement in other countries.

Notwithstanding the above, failure to register with UNHCR or government authorities of the host country is not grounds for refusing the applicant an XB-200 (or any other Class XB subclass) visa. An applicant may present strong claims against XB-200 criteria and be eligible to be granted the visa even though they have not registered with UNHCR or the local authorities.


Client Testimonials

….we call it Support Network

As navigating through the immigration law process may be difficult, our former clients have agreed to share their experiences through telephone chats, emails and meeting in person.

These are their stories…


What Questions Do Migration Agents Ask Our Accredited Specialists

  1. Under what business structure, can a job placement company, apply to be a sponsor with the sole purpose of charging a fee to visa applicants? And is there a method which would allow the sponsor to place the visa applicant with another unrelated business?

  2. How can employers charge a payment to the visa applicants in exchange to sponsor, without being caught under the immigration offence ‘cash for visa’?

  3. How many types of visas (including streams), can a Temporary Activities Sponsor benefit from, in sponsoring more candidates? And are there any difference in the sponsorship obligation?

  4. Can a visa applicant pay for costs related to the visa applicant? or must the Sponsor pay for all costs? How do I explain & educate my client, a large company who does not wish to pay for any costs for the sponsorship because the Director feels that the visa applicant has more to benefit than the company.

  5. In what circumstances will a visa applicant lose their right to appeal a refusal?


How Much Do We Charge?

Professional Fees

Sponsorship Application
(a) From $1,000 + GST
(b) From $2,000 + GST
(c) From $3,000 + GST

Nomination Application
(a) From $1,000 + GST
(b) From $2,000 + GST
(c) From $3,000 + GST

Visa Application
(a) From $1,000 + GST
(b) From $2,000 + GST
(c) From $3,000 + GST

Dependent Application
(a) From $1,000 + GST
(b) From $2,000 + GST
(c) From $3,000 + GST

Credit Card Surcharge
- MasterCard: 1.5%
- VISA: 1.67%
- American Express: 2.75%
- EFTPOS: 30 cents


Sponsorship Application
- $420

Nomination Application
- $330

Levy Charges
- $1200 per annum (<$10m)
- $1,600 per annum (>$10m)

Visa Application
- $1,000 (over 18 years)
- $2,000 (under 18 years)
- $700pp (applying in Australia)

Health Check
- $330 (chest x-ray)
- $330 (medical exam)

Credit Card Surcharge
- MasterCard: 1.32%
- VISA: 1.32%
- American Express: 1.40%
- Diners Club: 1.99%
- JCB: 1.40%


Police Clearance
- $47 (Australia)
- TBA (Outside Australia)

Health Insurance

Interpreter & Translator

Job Advertisements

Other 3rd Party Services
(only if applicable)
- Recognized Prior Learning
- Skills Assessment
- Registration/Membership/Licence
- Labour Market Testing (Unions only)
- Business Plan writers
- Accounting services
- Researchers for salary, LMT, etc

a newer & better
financial expectation

The beautiful part is that if you find that your immigration lawyer does not meet your expectations, you have the option of changing immigration lawyers with different teams, without having to completely change law firms where they’d charge a significant amount as part of the initial fact finding and preliminary advice.


Why are there different prices for the same service?

We have a variety of legal professionals, allowing you the freedom to choose according to lawyer’s fees, speed, experience and most importantly a personality that matches yours. This way, our clients get the best of shopping around different law firms while eliminating the need to re-tell the story again and transferring of supporting documents. Naturally, junior lawyers charge lower fees and the more years of experience our lawyers gain, the higher their fees. However, it is not all always about profitting, some of our lawyers are open to pro bono cases (free legal advice).

What are the Legal Personas to Choose From?

Our lawyers are considered “book-smart”, while others are more inclined towards being labelled “street-smart”. The younger lawyers tend to be very fast & responsive, but a handful are slow (although they beg to differ, that slow & steady wins the race). The older lawyers are usually more attentive and have a reputation of customer relations. But if money is no object, you can engage a bunch of them, or all of them.

Similar to the concept of “shopping centers”

shopping around has never been easier