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In-country Special Humanitarian Visa – Subclass 201

What is Subclass 201 Visa?

This visa forms part of the Refugee category of the humanitarian program. There are many persons living in their home countries who are subject to persecution because of their race, religion, ethnicity, political beliefs and other reasons. The government of their country may be powerless to protect them or may be the source of the persecution.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides protection and assistance to refugees who have left their home countries. It has no mandate to refer for resettlement persons subject to persecution who remain in their home country, even if UNHCR has a presence in that country.

Australia's capacity to assist persons in these circumstances is also extremely limited. There may be significant bilateral sensitivities around assessing applicants in their home country as subject to persecution and assisting their departure from that country.

The Government's priority in the refugee category is to resettle persons who have been assessed as refugees by UNHCR and referred to Australia for resettlement. XB-201 was established to enable Australia to assist in exceptional cases and for these reasons there is no regular allocation of places. You must be outside Australia when you apply for an In-country Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 201).

+ 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: Persecution ?

The applicant must be subject to 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 2: Australia’s interests?

Officers must also be satisfied that the permanent settlement of the applicant in Australia is not contrary to the interests of Australia. Officers may have regard to a wide range of considerations that include but are not limited to the following:

  • permanent settlement of the applicant in Australia could harm Australia’s relations with another country
  • the relevant officer is not satisfied of the applicant’s identity for reasons that may include the provision by the applicant of false or misleading information
  • departmental checks identify security concerns relating to the applicant.

In reaching a finding that the criterion is not satisfied for reasons related to Australia’s interests, officers must:

  • explain why the particular concern identified means that permanent settlement of the applicant would be contrary to Australia’s interests; and
  • afford the applicant appropriate procedural fairness.

What We Like About This Visa?

This visa subclass provides opportunity for those who are living in their home country and subject to persecution in home country. Unlike other refugee visas, the applicants do not need to show that they are residing outside of their home country.

There are no costs associated with this visa, unless the applicant is applying under the Community pilot. The Australian Government pays for:

  • travel costs to Australia

  • other costs before the Applicant leaves for Australia, including medical examinations and cultural orientation.

If a member of the Applicant’s immediate family was granted this visa in the past five years, he or she can propose the Applicant for this In-country Special Humanitarian visa under ‘split family’ provisions.


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