Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203, Australian visa consultant, Visa Help Australia, Skilled Migration Consultants

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What this Emergency Rescue visa lets you do

This is a permanent residence visa. It allows you to:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • access certain social security payments
  • apply for Australian citizenship (after you have lived in Australia for four years)
  • propose family members for permanent residence
  • attend English language classes.

If you want to travel outside Australia, you will need to get a travel document. After five years, you will need a Resident Return Visa to re-enter Australia.

Before you apply

You must be outside Australia when you apply for an Emergency Rescue visa (subclass 203). You must also be outside Australia when a visa is granted.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Cost

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

  • travel costs to Australia
  • other costs before you leave for Australia, including medical examinations and cultural orientation.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Who could get this Emergency Rescue visa

You  might be  able to get this Emergency Rescue visa  if:

  • you are living outside Australia
  • you are persecuted in your home country
  • the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refers you to Australia because you urgently need to be resettled.

If a member of your immediate family was granted this Emergency Rescue visa in the past five years, they can propose you under ‘split family’ provisions. You can find more information at  Proposing an Immediate Family Member (‘Split Family’).

Health requirements

You must meet certain  health requirements. The results are usually valid for 12 months. Do not arrange a health examination until the department of immigration and border protection ask you to.

This applies to you and any dependent family members included in your application.

A waiver of the need to meet the health requirement is available if compassionate and compelling circumstances exist. You can find information at  Health waivers.

Character requirements​

You must meet certain  character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until the department of immigration and border protection ask you to.

This applies to you and all the dependent family members listed in your application, whether they are migrating or not. ​​

You do not need to provide a police certificate from your home country.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this Emergency Rescue visa can be granted.

Biometrics

You might be asked to provide  biometrics  (a scientific form of identification) as part of the application.  Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program  has more information.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203:  Including family in your application​

You can include the following people in your visa application at the time of lodgement:

  • your partner (married or de facto)
  • your or your partner’s dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.​​

These family members must meet the requirements for including family members in your application, see  Form 1497i Including family members in your refugee, humanitarian or protection visa application  (110KB PDF). They could be asked to provide evidence of their relationship to you. This could include marriage certificates, birth certificates, joint bank accounts and other relevant documents. ​​

Your family members must be able to show that they meet  health  and  character  requirements.​

Non-dependent children who want to apply for entry to Australia on humanitarian grounds must apply for this Emergency Rescue visa separately.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for an Emergency Rescue visa (subclass 203). You and anyone included in your application must be outside Australia when you apply and the visa is granted.

If you  want to apply under the  Community  Proposal Pilot, further information is available under the Community pilot tab.

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge your application

You can apply for this Emergency Rescue visa using:

  • Form 842  Application for an Offshore Humanitarian Visa(586  kB  PDF).

Lodge your application form at an  immigration office outside Australia.

If you have a proposer, they must lodge the application in Australia using:

  • Form 681  Refugee and special humanitarian proposal(241  kB  PDF).

Your proposer should send your application form (Form 842) to you. Sign that form and return it to your proposer before they lodge the application.

You can find more information at  Lodging certain humanitarian applications in Australia.

Your proposer should lodge Form 681 and Form 842 together.

More information

Please refer to  preparing your application, for information on:

  • certifying and translating documents into English
  • communicating with the department of immigration and border protection
  • using a migration agent
  • authorising another person to receive information from the department of immigration and border protection
  • receiving assistance with your application. ​​​​

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203:  After you have applied

After you apply for an Emergency Rescue visa (subclass 203), the department of immigration and border protection will let  you and your proposer (if applicable) know that they have received your application.

Wait for a decision

The department of immigration and border protection have  visa processing times  for each visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Processing times also vary according to individual and family circumstances, such as where you live and any health conditions that might require testing or treatment. ​

The decision process could take many months. The department of immigration and border protection will contact you at key stages of processing and when a decision is made. Your proposer (if applicable) might be contacted to:

  • clarify details in the proposal
  • assess the level of help the proposer can give you.

Provide more information​

You can provide more information to the department of immigration and border protection, at any time until a decision is made on the application.  If you want to correct information you provided, use:

  • Form 1023 –  Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99KB PDF)

The department of immigration and border protection could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, they can make a decision about your application using the information that they have.

If another person gives the department of immigration and border protection information that could result in you being refused a visa, the department of immigration and border protection will  usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

At the interview, you will be asked about:

  • your circumstances, including the reasons why you are seeking a refugee visa
  • your family composition
  • the information you have provided in your application
  • other matters relating to your application.

Report changes in your circumstances​

You must tell the department of immigration and border protection if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

Please report changes in your circumstances via ImmiAccount. If you are not able to use ImmiAccount, you can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 – Change of address and/or passport details (86KB PDF)– if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 – Notification of changes in circumstances (77KB PDF)– if there are other changes in your circumstances.

If you do not provide the department of immigration and border protection with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane. ​​

Withdrawing your application

​You can withdraw the application at any time before the department of immigration and border protection make a decision about it. To do this, send the department of immigration and border protection a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include your file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

​​​All applicants 18 years of age or older, wishing to withdraw, must sign the request for withdrawal. ​ ​​​​​

​Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Visa decision

If the visa is granted, the department of immigration and border protection will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • ​​​​any​​ conditions attached to the visa.

If the visa is refused, the department of immigration and border protection will send you a letter or email stating why it was refused.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Document checklist

If you are older than 18 years of age, you must sign an  Australian Values Statement  to confirm that you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. The statement is included in the visa application form.  The department of immigration and border protection recommend that you read the  Life in Australia  book, or have it explained to you, before you sign the statement.

This applies to the child and any  member of the family unit listed in the application, whether they are migrating or not.

Forms

  • Form 842Application for an offshore humanitarian visa(586  kB  PDF)
  • Form 681Refugee and special humanitarian proposal(241  kB  PDF) (to be completed if you are being ‘proposed’ for the visa by an immediate family member in Australia).
  • Form 1417Proposal for refugee and special humanitarian entrants by approved proposing organisation  (to be completed if you are being proposed under the Community pilot).

Receiving assistance

  • Documents to show you meet Australia’s health requirements:
    • Applying outside Australia: medical and x-ray examinations by a panel doctor for you and any family member planning to  stay with you in Australia
    • Applying in Australia: evidence of a booking or receipt from Bupa Medical Visa Services for your medical and x-ray examinations.​​

Your status as a refugee

  • Evidence of registration with any international organisation dealing with refugees, for example, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • A detailed written statement (in English), clearly explaining why you left the country you fear returning to

OR

If you have been referred for resettlement by the UNHCR, a full copy of your UNHCR Resettlement Registration Form

Visas or residence permits

  • Certified copies of any visas or residence permits held by any person included in this application (if available)

Your identity

  • For each of your dependants aged 18 years or older at the time of invitation, provide one of the following:
    • if they have functional English: the results of an IELTS test that they each took less than 12 months before you lodge your application
    • if they have less-than-functional English a statement indicating your intention to pay the second visa application charge.

OR

A statement explaining why you have no travel or identity documents.

  • Evidence of your financial capacity to support yourself and your family while you are in Australia, such as:
    • bank statements
    • a letter from your financial institution stating your financial position
    • employment contracts
    • documents showing allowances, accommodation and stipends from your sponsor while you are in Australia.

The visa application charges are listed in  Fees and charges.

Your relationships

  • Evidence of financial dependency for all your members of the family unit aged 18 or older:
    • a certified copy of their birth certificate and proof of their relationship to you
    • proof that they live in your household
    • proof that they have been financially dependent on you for at least the 12 months immediately before you lodge your application.
  • Certified copies of birth certificates for you and any other person included in the application. The certificates must show the names of both parents of each person.
  • A national identity card if you have one.
  • If your name has changed or the name of anyone included in your application has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.

Your children

  • If the sponsor has paid child support or given an assurance of support for anyone else, the sponsor must provide a statement that shows:
    • the sponsor’s relationship with that other person or those people
    • the dates of lodgement of any sponsorship or nominations (including any current sponsorship) or assurances of support
    • the amount and frequency of child support payments.

The child must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government.

OR

a written statement that explains the circumstances of adoption

Character documents

  • If you or anyone included in the application has served in the armed forces of any country: certified copies of military service record or discharge papers.

Proposer documents

  • If you are applying under the ‘split family’ provisions for immediate family members:
    • a certified copy of your proposer’s visa
    • evidence of the relationship with your proposer, such as a certified copy of marriage or birth certificate.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Support for humanitarian visa holders

You can find information about ways the Australian Government helps you prepare to travel to Australia at  Refugee and Humanitarian Entry to Australia.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What this Emergency Rescue visa lets you do

This is a permanent residence visa. It allows you to:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • access certain social security payments
  • apply for Australian citizenship (after you have lived in Australia for four years)
  • propose family members for permanent residence
  • attend English language classes.

If you want to travel outside Australia, you will need to get a travel document. After five years, you will need a Resident Return Visa to re-enter Australia.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Your obligations

You and your family must:

  • come to Australia initially by the date specified on your visa
  • comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What you need after your visa is granted but before you come to Australia

Document for travel to Australia

When your visa is granted, the department of immigration and border protection will issue you with a document for travel to Australia. This document is valid one time only for travel and entry to Australia.

Departure health check

You need to have a departure health check from an approved  immigration panel physician  no more than 72 hours before your confirmed departure for Australia. This is to reduce your post-arrival health issues and make resettlement easier.

You must:

  • be healthy enough to travel to Australia
  • have vaccinations and treatment for parasites before resettlement
  • follow up any pre-existing health conditions after you arrive in Australia.

The departure health check includes:

  • a physical examination
  • a pregnancy test
  • tests for communicable diseases
  • administration of prescribed vaccinations, including measles, mumps and rubella
  • treatment of parasites and infestations.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Report changes in circumstances

You must tell the department of immigration and border protection if your circumstances change.  This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

Please report changes in your circumstances via ImmiAccount.  If you are not able to use ImmiAccount, you can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86KB PDF)– if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77KB PDF)– if there are other changes in your circumstances.

If you do not provide the department of immigration and border protection with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Who can propose a person

​​You can propose a person for this Emergency Rescue visa if you meet all of the following:

  • you are:
    • an Australian citizen
    • an Australian permanent resident
    • an eligible New Zealand citizen
    • an Australian organisation
  • you did not come to Australia as an illegal maritime arrival on or after 13 August 2012.

You can also  Propose an imm​ediate family member (‘split family’)  for this Emergency Rescue visa if:

  • you have declared the person you are proposing as an immediate family member to the department of immigration and border protection before your own visa was granted
  • you hold, or have held this Emergency Rescue visa, and it was granted within the past five years
  • the person you are proposing is still a member of your immediate family.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: How to propose

This information explains what you need to do to propose someone for an Emergency Rescue visa (subclass 203).

Lodge your application by post

​​To propose someone for this Emergency Rescue visa, complete and lodge the following forms:

  • Form 842 Application for an offshore humanitarian visa (586 kB pdf)
  • Form 681 Refugee and special humanitarian proposal (241 kB pdf).

You must provide all relevant documents when you lodge the application.

Send ​  Form 842 (586 kB pdf)  to the person you are proposing for this Emergency Rescue visa. That person should sign the form and return it to you before you lodge the application.

Lodge the application at the:

  • Melbourne office  in Victoria – attention Melbourne Offshore Humanitarian Processing Centre – if you are proposing someone who lives in the Middle East, Afghanistan or Pakistan Email enquiry form:  Melbourne Offshore Humanitarian Processing Centre Enquiry Form
  • Sydney office in New South Wales – attention NSW Offshore Humanitarian Processing Centre –  if  you are proposing someone who lives in any other country Email enquiry form:  NSW Offshore Humanitarian Processing Centre Enquiry Form

You can find further information at  Lodging certain humanitarian applications in Australia.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Proposer obligations

If your immediate family members are granted this Emergency Rescue visa, you should be prepared to:

  • meet them at the airport
  • provide their accommodation on arrival
  • help them to find permanent accommodation
  • familiarise them with services and service providers such as:
    • Centrelink
    • banks
    • public transport
    • translating and interpreting services
    • health care
    • permanent housing
    • education
    • employment services

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Support for proposers

You can apply for proposer support to better help you to:

  • respond to the applicant’s needs
  • fulfil your obligations to directly support the applicant.

A Humanitarian Settlement Services provider in your state or territory will contact you if the visa application is approved. The service provider will give you initial information and tell you what support could be available.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Report changes in circumstances

Tell the department of immigration and border protection if your circumstances change, for example:

  • you change your address
  • you can no longer provide support.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What is the Community Proposal Pilot?

The Community Proposal Pilot is a program of up to 500 visa places under Australia’s Humanitarian Program. It allows approved proposing organisations to propose someone in a humanitarian situation outside of Australia for a Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa.

These organisations would usually work with supporting community organisations to identify people to propose, support their visa application process, and if successful, help them to settle in Australia.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Who are the approved proposing organisations?

They are community organisations that the department of immigration and border protection have invited to participate in the Community Proposer Pilot. They are:

  • AMES (Victoria)
  • Brotherhood of St Laurence (Victoria)
  • Illawarra Multicultural Services (New South Wales)
  • Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre (New South Wales).

The approved proposing organisations:

  • have entered into a Deed of Agreement with the department of immigration and border protection
  • are responsible for lodging valid visa applications to propose humanitarian applicants
  • are responsible for settlement support for the people being proposed for up to 12 months after arriving in Australia
  • can work with a supporting community organisation with whom they have an agreement, to identify people to propose and to provide settlement support
  • are responsible for ensuring payment of costs related to the visa
  • are responsible for monitoring and reporting on the provision of support and settlement outcomes of the humanitarian entrants.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What do approved proposing organisations need to do?

Approved proposing organisations must:

  • lodge the application forms (Forms842 (586 kB pdf)  and 1417 (409 kB pdf))
  • ensure the visa application charge is paid
  • pay for the medical examinations that are needed for the visa
  • arrange and pay for airfares to Australia if the visa is granted.

If the department of immigration and border protection grant the visa, the approved proposing organisation must also support the people who were proposed for up to 12 months after they arrive in Australia. This means the approved proposing organisation must:

  • meet them at an Australian airport
  • provide on-arrival clothing and footwear if required
  • provide accommodation
  • provide basic household goods and food
  • refer any families with children to a school
  • refer them to Medicare, Centrelink and a bank
  • register them for a general health assessment
  • refer them for English language training
  • help them find a job and permanent housing
  • connect them to other community and government programs
  • provide orientation to their local community and educate them about the rights and responsibilities of Australian permanent residents, including residential and tenancy rights and responsibilities.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What are supporting community organisations?

Supporting community organisations work with an approved proposing organisation to identify people who could apply for the visa and, if the visa is granted, help them settle in Australia.

The organisations work together under an agreement. A supporting community organisation must provide any or all of the support and services someone needs after they arrive in Australia, as agreed with the approved proposing organisation.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Who can be proposed for a refugee visa?

People being proposed under the Community Proposal Pilot must:

  • be proposed by an approved proposing organisation
  • be outside Australia when the visa application is lodged
  • meet the eligibility criteria for a refugee and humanitarian visa
  • meet Australia’s health and character requirements.

Please note that the Community Proposal Pilot is not a family reunion visa.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: How do I propose someone for a refugee visa?

You cannot propose an application by yourself. To propose someone through the Community Proposal Pilot, approach an approved proposing organisation. You can contact the approved proposing organisation yourself, or you can ask a supporting community organisation to contact them for you.

To apply for a visa under the Community Proposal Pilot, you must:

  • identify someone you want to propose (they will be the visa applicant)
  • have them complete and sign Form 842 Application for an offshore humanitarian visa (586 kB pdf)
  • prepare their information, payments and documents to support the application
  • provide the application and all relevant information, payments and documents to the approved proposing organisation.

The approved proposing organisation will decide which applications they can support.

You do not have to propose someone through the Community Proposal Pilot. You can still propose your family members directly through the normal visa application process if you meet the requirements of the visa.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What forms need to be completed?

The people being proposed complete:

  • Form 842 Application for an offshore humanitarian visa refugee and humanitarian (Class XB) visa (586 kB pdf).

The approved proposing organisation completes:

  • Form 1417 Proposal for refugee and special humanitarian entrants by approved proposing organisation (409 kB pdf).

The approved proposing organisation lodges these forms and documents at the  Melbourne office  in Victoria – attention  Melbourne Offshore Humanitarian Processing Centre.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What happens after the application is lodged?

After the application is lodged, the department of immigration and border protection will:

  • tell the people being proposed and the approved proposing organisation that the department of immigration and border protection have received the application
  • ask the people being processed if the department of immigration and border protection need more detail about information in the visa application
  • contact the people being proposed at key processing stages, to clarify details in the visa application and when a decision is made.

The people being proposed can provide more information about their visa application to the department of immigration and border protection in writing at any time until a decision is made on the application. If they want to correct their information they have provided, they can useForm 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99 kB pdf).

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: How long will the decision process take?

The decision process could take many months.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What happens if more information is needed?

If the department of immigration and border protection ask for more information, the people being proposed will have to respond by a set date. After that date, the department of immigration and border protection can make a decision about the application using the information they have.

If another person gives the department of immigration and border protection information that could result in the visa being refused, the department of immigration and border protection will usually give the people being proposed the opportunity to comment on the information.

The people being proposed might also be interviewed. They will need to bring their passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What is a Deed of Agreement?

Under the Deed of Agreement, an Approved Proposing Organisation agrees to provide a range of services and support to people being proposed. The Deed is not an agreement for an Approved Proposing Organisation to provide services on  behalf  of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is not funding Approved Proposing Organisations to provide these services.

The Deed of Agreement is a legally binding document.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: What are the costs?

Approved proposing organisations are responsible for ensuring the following costs are paid:

  • the visa application charge
  • medical checks for the people being proposed
  • airfares to Australia
  • accommodation
  • initial household costs such as goods, food, and utilities connection.

Approved proposing organisations can ask the supporting community organisation or the people proposing someone to pay for these costs. Approved proposing organisations can also ask for a contribution to cover administrative costs related to the application.

Visa holders must not be asked to pay back any of the costs associated with their proposal. The department of immigration and border protection would consider that to be in breach of the Deed of Agreement and apply sanctions.

The visa application charges are listed in  Fees and charges.

Emergency Rescue Visa subclass 203: Where can I get more information?

For more information about the Community Proposal Pilot or to seek help getting in touch with an approved proposing organisation, send an email to the Community Proposal Pilot mailbox: [email protected]

Source: The Australian Department of Home Affairs (www.homeaffairs.gov.au). Please visit www.border.gov.au to get updated information.