Australian Immigration And Asylum Seekers

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Australian Immigration and Asylum Seekers

Australian Immigration and Asylum Seekers

Policy Definition

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an asylum seeker is a person who is in search of international protection. The reasons for seeking protection may vary from one person to another. For example, a person belonging to a minority group may seek international protection because of genocide in their home country whereas a politician may seek the same for fear of assassination (Asylum seekers and refugees, 2012).

In a country like Australia where discrete and comprehensive refugee assessment procedures have been introduced, an asylum seeker is defined as a person whose claim to see protection has not been processed and determined by the country of destination (Bem et al., n.d.). Although all refugees are initially seen as asylum seekers, it is highly unlikely that all asylum seekers will eventually be recognized as refugees.

According to the Australian Immigration Policy, an asylum seeker is defined as a person who has applied for a protection visa. Such applicants are evaluated and thoroughly examined by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship during the initial processing (Bem et al., n.d.). After this, they enter the review stage where they undergo a series of examinations and assessments by the Refugees Review Tribunal (Asylum seekers and refugees, 2012). The aim of this secondary assessment is to determine that the asylum seeker is suited to among the Australian citizens.

The Australian Immigration Policy provides comprehensive assistance to asylum seekers and gives them special consideration. A number of government-administered programs provide aid to the asylum seekers while there applications are under process. The types of aid offered by them include (McClelland & Smith, 2012):

Financial aid under the ASAS (Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme)

Casework services through the Australian Red Cross under the Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme

Legal assistance, support and guidance for preparation of the application for protected visas under the IAAAS (Immigration Advice and Assistance Scheme)

Facilitating Access to Medicare

Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme (ASAS)

The ASAS Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme is controlled by the Australian Red Cross and is under contract to the department. The primary goal of the ASAS is to provide financial assistance to applicants of protected visa who have passed certain criteria for eligibility. In the scheme, the casework assistance is facilitated with the help of professionals who are employed by the Australian Red Cross and who are specifically assigned the responsibility of relieving the applicants of the difficulties associated with the application process (McClelland & Smith, 2012). The scheme also helps vulnerable asylum seekers by familiarizing them with the Australian community so that they do not face any difficulties while living among the local Australian population.

Financial Assistance

Those asylum seekers who have cleared the eligibility criteria for the Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme are entitled to receive regular payments of a certain amount as financial assistance. The financial assistance is arranged by the Red Cross and are intended for the purpose of reducing the burdens and difficulties of everyday living that the applicants may face. It is also common for the ...
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