3000 Humanitarian Visa For Afghanistan

The 3000 Humanitarian Visa (or the Afghan Special Humanitarian Program) provides applications with an opportunity to enter Australia through a streamlined process if applying for humanitarian case. This visa is highly specialised and as such, it is only available to applicants who are eligible under its specific guidelines. In general, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and less than 50 years old. Most applicants will have a minimum of 3 continuous years experience in Afghanistan within the last 10 years. Applicants can be considered on the basis that they have business or employment offers from within Australia.The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has temporarily stopped accepting visa applications from people with family or business ties to Afghanistan. However, there is a humanitarian program for those who have immediate family members who are at risk. The humanitarian program could be an opportunity for some applicants who otherwise were not eligible to apply for the VWP. There are 3000 humanitarian visas available each year specifically for Afghans with close family in the US.

The Afghan government is offering 3,000 humanitarian visas to refugees in Pakistan and Iran. The visas are free, but applications will only be accepted through non-profit organizations. The visa grants a single entry for family reunification for up to two years, and does not offer a path to permanent residence or citizenship. Afghans who received refugee status in other countries may apply for an extension of stay.

3,000 humanitarian places for Afghanistan

The Australian Government today announced that an initial 3,000 humanitarian places will be allocated to Afghan nationals within Australia’s 13,750 annual program.

Australia will give first priority to Afghan nationals within the offshore humanitarian program and afford them visa processing priority in the year ahead.

The 3,000 humanitarian places will focus on family members of Australians, persecuted minorities such as women and girls, children, the Hazara and other vulnerable groups.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke MP, said the 3,000 humanitarian places will ensure Australia continues to meet its ongoing commitment to the Afghan people.

“These 3,000 humanitarian places come on top of the 8,500 Afghans Australia has already successfully resettled since 2013 via our existing humanitarian program,” Minister Hawke said.

“The Government anticipates this initial allocation will increase further over the course of this year,” he said.

“And for those that will come here under this program, Australia has a highly successful humanitarian resettlement program which will assist all Afghan refugees to succeed in their new lives in Australia,” he said.

“In coming weeks I will continue to engage with Australian-Afghan community leaders to identify those most at risk, with a focus on family members, minorities, women, children and other vulnerable and persecuted groups,” he said.

Today’s announcement of support for Afghanistan is consistent with Australia’s track record as one of the most generous humanitarian resettlement countries in the world.

While the Australian Government operates a generous humanitarian program, our approach to combating people smuggling remains unchanged. Those who travel illegally to Australia by boat will not permanently settle in Australia.

During visa processing, the safety and security of Australia has remained an absolute priority. All applicants must continue to meet visa criteria and character, security and health requirements.

Within the 26,500 places under the Humanitarian Program, priority will be given to:

  • former Locally Engaged Employees (LEE) and their immediate family members;
  • subclass 449 Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa holders (current and former) and their immediate family members;
  • those with enduring links to Australia, such as Afghans who were employed by Australian non-government organisations or worked on Australian Government funded projects, and Coalition partner LEE and their immediate family; and
  • women and girls, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQI+ and other identified minority groups.

These priority groups are in addition to the existing priorities in Australia’s offshore Humanitarian Program, which include split families, those with close ties to Australia and those with proposers residing in regional Australia.

Afghan nationals are also able to pursue other migration pathways to Australia depending on their circumstances, including through the Community Support Program, the Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement Pilot, the Family stream, and Skilled visa categories. More information is provided below and at Explore visa options.

People who have already applied for an Australian visa and have not yet received a decision do not need to apply again. All on-hand and new visa applications will be processed in accordance with Government announcements and within program priorities.

We understand this is a distressing time for many people, including the Australian Afghan community, and ask for patience with visa application processes.

Afghan nationals remain a priority group

Humanitarian and family visa processing for Afghan nationals continues to be a priority, including onshore Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) (subclass 449) visa holders.

Since August 2021 an unprecedented number of humanitarian visa applications have been received from Afghan nationals. The Department has put in place a number of additional measures to process applications, including additional staff in Australia. This additional resourcing is focused exclusively on processing applications from Afghan nationals. For more information about lodgement, registration and acknowledgement of humanitarian visa applications from Afghan nationals see statistics below.

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