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Emergency Rescue Visa – Subclass 203

What is Subclass 203 Visa?

Subclass 203 visa forms part of the Refugee category of the humanitarian program. The primary criteria provide for grant of a visa to applicants in two circumstances:

  • a person who is subject to persecution in their home country, and has an urgent and compelling need to travel to Australia or

  • a member of the immediate family of a proposer who holds or held an XB-203 visa

XB-203 is intended to provide emergency resettlement to persons who are subject to persecution and also face an immediate threat to their life or personal security (other than for medical reasons).

+ 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: Substantial discrimination and outside home country?

Except in split family cases [insert hyperlink to split family article], an applicant seeking to meet XB-202 primary criteria must be outside their home country and satisfy officers that they are subject to substantial discrimination in their home country amounting to a gross violation of their human rights.

'Substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of human rights' is not defined in legislation, therefore it should be taken to have its common meaning. 'Discrimination' requires an unfavourable distinction against the applicant in their home country.

In assessing claims of discrimination, officers should explore the following:

  • arbitrary interference with the applicant's privacy, family, home or correspondence
  • deprivation of means of earning a livelihood, denial of work commensurate with training and qualifications and/or payment of unreasonably low wages
  • relegation to substandard dwellings
  • exclusion from the right to education
  • enforced social and civil inactivity
  • removal of citizenship rights
  • denial of a passport
  • constant surveillance or pressure to become an informer.

In situations of civil disorder where the rule of law has broken down, many people may lose their jobs and homes, experience hardship and become a victim of criminal behaviour. These circumstances do not constitute discrimination unless it is apparent an unfavourable distinction has been made against the applicant.

For 'substantial discrimination', s65 delegates should assess whether the amount of discrimination or the impact of the discrimination is considerable and real (not imagined or fanciful).

Officers should consider whether the amount or impact of the discrimination is such that it would extend to or qualify as gross breaches or infringements of human rights. The impact of cumulative actions may be assessed as whether they extend to gross violations of human rights. 'Gross violations' are flagrant or cumulative actions that are breaches or infringements of human rights.

Officers also need to be aware that they shouldn't embark on an exercise of comparison, nor require applicants to be subject to a higher level of substantial discrimination than others in their country. Officers should undertake the assessment of whether the applicant is subject to substantial discrimination amounting to a gross violation of human rights on the basis of the individual case.

+ What is Requirement 2: Form 681 (Refugee and Special Humanitarian proposal)?

The applicant's entry to Australia is to be proposed in accordance with form 681 (Refugee and Special Humanitarian proposal) by an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, eligible New Zealand citizen or a body operating in Australia. Under policy, a body operating in Australia would normally be a recognised community, ethnic or religious organisation.

To satisfy this criterion, the applicant must submit a form 681 completed by an eligible proposer:

  • split family applicants must submit form 681 at time of application
  • all other applicants are required to have submitted form 681 by the time of decision

If the proposer is a minor.

If the applicant's proposer is a minor, the form 681 should be completed and lodged in the minor's name, as it is the minor who is the proposer.

A responsible adult may assist the proposer to complete and lodge form 681. The adult would be expected to meet all proposer obligations on the minor's behalf.

+ What is Requirement 3: Compelling reasons ?

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 We Like About This Visa?

There are no charges for the main applicant as well as an additional applicant for this visa. However, you have to pay for documentation, medical certificate, and character certificate. The Australian Government doesn’t pay for the traveling cost of the applicant.

After the grant of Global Special Humanitarian Visa Subclass 202, the applicant can enjoy the below-given benefits in Australia:

  • Applicant has full right to live in Australia on the permanent basis.

  • You can work in Australia during your stay in Australia.

  • You may get enroll in Medicare; it is an Australian healthcare and medical scheme for the permanent residents and Australian citizens.

  • You can sponsor your family members for permanent residency in Australia if they are able to fulfil the eligibility criteria.

  • After spending initial years and meeting the eligibility credentials, you can apply for Australia citizenship.

  • You are free to travel in and outside Australia as many times after the grant of your visa.

  • You can enter your name in English language classes


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