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Indonesia visa Australia

Managing Associate (Lawyer)
May 7, 2024
10
minute read

The Australian Protection visa for Indonesian nationals

Immigration from Indonesia to Australia has had a complicated history. While strong economic factors drove immigration before the 20th century, the operation of the ‘White Australia Policy’ (1901-1973) heavily restricted immigration for Indonesians. However, since the Australian government ended this policy, migration from Indonesia has significantly increased due to a variety of factors, including work and study opportunities, family reunification, and humanitarian reasons. As a result, the number of Indonesians in Australia has now reached over 80,000.

There are numerous reasons why Indonesian nationals seek Australian visas, including humanitarian or protection purposes. Domestic socio-political factors in Indonesia may pose challenges to the civil and political rights of minority groups. Historically, this has involved violence condoned or committed on religious grounds against disadvantaged groups, regulations disproportionately affecting women, and ongoing legal discrimination against same-sex couples. Recently, a new criminal code, enacted in January 2023, introduced problematic provisions undermining the rights of various religious groups, the LGBTQIA+ community, and women. These include the criminalization of sexual relations outside of marriage and the cohabitation of unrelated people, as well as the recognition of potentially discriminatory regulations based on religion.

As a result, Indonesians may be eligible for protection within Australia. The following sections will detail the various available options and the relevant criteria.

The protection visa process for Indonesia

Eligibility criteria for Indonesia protection visas:

There are various options available to Indonesians seeking protection in Australia.

For Indonesian nationals already in Australia, protection may be sought through a subclass 866 visa. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Applicants must have arrived in Australia on a valid visa and cleared immigration. If granted, this visa allows Indonesians to remain in Australia beyond the duration specified by their original entry visa.

Indonesians not yet in Australia may apply for a protection visa through the Offshore Humanitarian stream (form 842). They must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in Indonesia based on the aforementioned factors. Applicants must be outside Australia when they apply and cannot arrive in Australia before the visa is granted.

Alternatively, Indonesian nationals can seek protection by applying for a Global Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 202). To be eligible, they must demonstrate substantial discrimination in Indonesia and be proposed by an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or organisation. Family members in Australia may propose them if they meet certain requirements. Proposers have certain obligations, including funding the applicant's travel if necessary. Applicants must be outside Australia when applying.

Applicants will also need to meet various requirements, including health, character, and security checks, as well as signing the Australian values statement.

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Indonesia visa supporting documentation

Identity and Citizenship Documents:

  • Passport with personal details.
  • National identity card.
  • Proof of name change.

Humanitarian Circumstances:

  • Registration with refugee organisations.
  • Statement explaining reasons for leaving home country.

Visas or Residence Permits:

  • Certified copies of current visas or permits.

Relationship Documents:

  • Certified copies of marriage certificates or registrations.

Photographs:

  • Passport-size photographs per applicant.

Visa application form:

  • Refugee and humanitarian proposal forms.

Character Documents:

  • Military service records (if applicable).

Notification of Assistance:

  • Immigration assistance forms.

Dependents' Documents:

  • Identity documents.
  • Relationship proof.
  • Visas or permits.
  • Marriage certificates or registrations.
  • Character documents (if applicable).

Translation:

  • Translation of non-English documents into English.

Document Preparation for Online Applications:

  • Colour scans or photos of documents.
  • Clarity and labelling.
  • Consolidation of multi-page documents.
  • Sponsorship and travel assistance documentation

Lodging an Indonesian protection visa 

There are various methods available for Indonesian nationals to apply for a protection visa. It is advisable that applicants submit their applications online, as this method is both convenient and efficient. Once the application form and accompanying documents have been gathered, applicants can submit them through the designated online website. Alternatively, paper visa applications can be sent by post. These must be addressed to the Special Humanitarian Processing Centre at the Department of Home Affairs in Sydney, NSW. The mailing address for this centre is GPO Box 9984, Sydney, NSW 2001.

Indonesian citizens are cautioned by the Australian Embassy in Indonesia, the local immigration office, to remain vigilant against visa scams that operate within the country. Further information can be found on the Embassy’s website.

Indonesian visa compliance and conditions

If applicants are granted a visa to seek protection in Australia from Indonesia, various conditions and obligations will apply. These include:

Stay and Living Rights:

  • Live, work and study in Australia permanently (beginning upon entry).
  • Enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme (Medicare).
  • If eligible, propose family members for permanent residence.
  • If eligible, become an Australian citizen.

Obligations:

  • Enter Australia before the specified initial arrival date.
  • Obey all Australian laws.
  • Contact the Department informing them of any situational changes .
  • Subclass 866 visas have a travel condition attached (Travel Condition 8559, prevented from visiting Indonesia unless a request is made and permission to enter Indonesia is provided).

Cost:

  • Applicants are required to pay $45 for a Subclass 866.
  • There is no visa application charge for the other two visa types specified above unless applicants are proposed under the Community Support Program.

Travel:

  • Applicants are responsible for arranging initial travel to Australia.
  • Travel to and from Australia for 5 years (after 5 years a Resident Return visa is required).

Indonesian nationals should be aware that there are a variety of programs that will be available to them should their visa application be approved. These programs cover a range of areas, including introducing Australian history and culture, English language support and resettlement.

Processing time for an Indonesia visa

There are various factors that may impact visa applications for Indonesian nationals. While the Department strives to make decisions quickly and keep applicants informed, delays often occur as the Department verifies applicants, their claims, and documents. Ultimately, visa applications from Indonesian nationals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, making it difficult to estimate processing times.

After submitting an application, unfortunately, applicants cannot directly contact the Department to receive updates on their visa status.

Backing from migration lawyers within Australia

While Indonesian nationals have the right to submit applications independently, having support from a registered migration agent or lawyer can significantly enhance an applicant's chances of success. Australian Migration Lawyers possess extensive experience in assisting applicants with successful application submissions and possess in-depth knowledge of Australia’s immigration laws, policies, and visa options. Engaging an Australian Migration Lawyer can ensure that an application is compliant and includes all necessary documents, thus minimising the risk of delays. Despite the potential legal complexities involved in Australia’s laws and processes, Australian Migration Lawyers are skilled at navigating any challenges that may arise during the application process. Although their involvement is not mandatory, it can greatly increase the likelihood of success and alleviate the stress of seeking protection in Australia for Indonesian applicants.

Supporting Evidence for your Application 

Indonesian nationals applying for protection visas must submit various documents along with their application. Additionally, they are required to provide a statement as evidence of their well-founded fear of persecution. This statement should comprehensively detail the circumstances the applicant has faced, including a precise timeline of events, the source of threats or harm, and any efforts made to seek support in Indonesia. If relevant, applicants should also include information about their departure from Indonesia. Furthermore, any supplementary evidence supporting the statement should be included. It's essential for applicants to be specific, truthful, and refrain from embellishing their statements, as the Department will verify their validity.

If applicants are seeking protection for family members, they must submit a separate statement.

The Indonesian Protection Visa Interview

Throughout the application process, Indonesian applicants may be invited to participate in a formal interview with the Department. When attending meetings with the Department, careful planning and honesty are crucial, as applicants are encouraged to thoroughly review their application materials, which will be scrutinised by the Department. If there are any changes in the applicant's circumstances, it is strongly recommended to promptly notify the Department. During the interview, the Department will pose questions to confirm the applicant’s identity, claims, honesty, and address any concerns that may have arisen after initial consideration of their application. Applicants must be prepared to provide any further information requested by the Department. In some cases, seeking professional guidance from an Australian Migration Lawyer is advisable, both to prepare for the interview and to address any concerns regarding post-interview correspondence from the Department.

The Administrative Processes

The administrative process underlying any visa application can be time-consuming. Before applying, applicants are strongly encouraged to explore available avenues of protection rather than submitting applications randomly. Indonesian applicants must gather necessary documentation and complete the application form, including any requirements for their partners and dependents. Once submitted, applicants can undergo various other requirements, such as health examinations, interviews, or biometric data collection. If any errors are discovered in the application, applicants should promptly contact the Department. Following a decision on the application, the Department will notify the applicant of the outcome. While the process may be lengthy, with the assistance of an Australian Migration Lawyer, applicants can navigate it confidently.

Advice specific to your case

While there is a wealth of information available to Indonesian applicants to aid them in completing their application, there are instances where receiving specific, tailored advice can be highly beneficial. At Australian Migration Lawyers, individuals can arrange initial consultations to explore the various options available to them and to secure ongoing support for their application. Only by meeting with an applicant and thoroughly discussing their case can an Australian Migration Lawyer fully comprehend their circumstances and provide relevant advice.

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Support with Appeals and Reviews

Australian Migration Lawyers not only assist applicants in completing their application correctly but also provide support after a decision has been made. They help applicants understand the outcome of their application and advise them on any next steps that may be taken, including seeking a review or lodging an appeal. If necessary, Australian Migration Lawyers can represent applicants at Australia’s administrative review tribunal or the Federal Court.

Indonesian Immigration Changes

Applicants should be aware that Australia’s immigration laws and policies are subject to constant change due to various factors, including domestic and foreign affairs trends. Predicting future changes can be challenging. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to stay updated with the latest information published by the Department and understand how this further information may impact their application. Regarding Indonesian applicants, recent changes by the Australian Government to immigration and visa access did not affect protection visas. An Australian Migration Lawyer can assist in this regard by providing access to relevant information and staying informed about any developments that may affect the claims of Indonesian applicants.

Guidance from Australian Migration Lawyers

Indonesian applicants may find Australia’s immigration processes stressful and complex, particularly given the circumstances they may already be experiencing in Indonesia. While visas can be applied for either in Indonesia or Australia alone, seeking the assistance of an Australian Migration Lawyer can alleviate some of the burden faced by applicants. This is not only because an Australian Migration Lawyer is experienced in supporting applicants through the visa process, but also because they possess a thorough understanding of Australia’s immigration laws and policies. They can provide tailored guidance and assistance, simplifying the process and giving applicants confidence that they have given themselves the best opportunity for a successful application.

Australian Migration Lawyers team

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