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Malaysia visa Australia

Managing Associate (Lawyer)
May 7, 2024
minute read

The Australian Protection visa for Malaysian nationals

Migration of Malaysians to Australia has occurred for decades, steadily increasing since the 1950s. Historically, this has occurred due to economic and educational opportunities, family reunification, and humanitarian reasons. As a result, the Malaysian community in Australia now totals over 150,000 people, representing a community with diverse experiences of migration.

Arising from the hardships experienced by ethnic minorities and LGBTIQA+ individuals in Malaysia, there may be several grounds for a Malaysian applicant to seek a protection visa within Australia. Malaysia’s legal framework fails to provide adequate protection from discrimination based on ethnicity or sexual orientation, criminalises consensual same-sex relations, and includes restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly that prevent vulnerable groups from advocating for their rights. Furthermore, conservative traditional community and cultural beliefs have resulted in a social environment where LGBTIQA+ people and ethnic minorities are routinely discriminated against. This has produced a situation where these groups experience ongoing violence and harassment as well as an inability to access a variety of essential services. Government policies and statements have served to reinforce this discrimination and social exclusion, compounding the challenges that ethnic minorities and the LGBTIQA+ community face.

Consequently, Malaysians may be eligible for a protection visa within Australia. The following sections will detail the various options available.

The protection visa process for Malaysia

Eligibility criteria for Malaysia protection visas:

For Malaysian nationals seeking protection within Australia, the following categories are available.

For those who have successfully travelled to Australia on another visa, they may be eligible to apply for a subclass 866 visa. To qualify for this visa, applicants must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group. Applicants need to be within Australia on a valid visa and have received immigration clearance to apply. If granted, a subclass 866 visa will allow Malaysian applicants to receive protection within Australia and remain in the country beyond the expiry of their original visa.

Alternatively, Malaysian nationals outside of Australia can apply for protection visas under the Offshore Humanitarian stream (form 842). Similar to the subclass 866 visa, applicants must show a well-founded fear of persecution within Malaysia to be eligible. Applicants for this stream must be outside of Australia when applying for protection.

Similarly, Malaysian applicants outside of Australia may be eligible for protection under the Global Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 202). Applicants must demonstrate substantial discrimination within Malaysia. Additionally, they will need an Australian citizen, resident, or organisation to propose them for this visa. While immediate family members may be proposers, certain eligibility requirements will apply. These proposers will have various responsibilities for the applicant's immigration to Australia, which may include covering travel expenses if the applicant is unable to. Applicants must apply for this visa outside of Australia.

Applicants may also need to meet other requirements, including health, character, and security assessments, as well as signing the Australian values statement.


Book a Consultation

If you are interested in getting more information about a Protection visa, get in touch with Australian Migration Lawyers for a consultation.

Visa supporting documentation for Malaysia

Identity Documents:

  • Passport with personal details (including passport number)
  • 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.


  • Passport-size photographs per applicant.

Application Forms:

  • Refugee and humanitarian proposal forms.

Character Documents:

  • Military service records (if applicable).

Notification of Assistance:

  • Immigration assistance forms.

Dependents' Supporting Documents:

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


  • Translation of non-English documents into English.

Additional Documents For Preparation For Online Applications:

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

Lodging a Malaysian protection visa in Australia

Malaysian applicants have multiple options for lodging their visa applications. Whenever possible, it is generally recommended that applicants submit their applications, along with all required documents, through the designated online portal for convenience and efficiency. Alternatively, if necessary, applicants can still opt to submit paper applications to the Special Humanitarian Processing Centre at the Department of Home Affairs in Sydney, NSW. The postal address for such applications is GPO Box 9984, Sydney, NSW 2001.

Malaysian applicants should be aware that the Australian High Commission of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur is unable to assist with visa applications or enquiries. Instead, applicants are directed to contact the Department of Home Affairs. Additionally, the High Commission advises applicants to stay informed about current visa scams that may be operational within Malaysia.

Malaysian visa compliance and conditions

Should applicants secure Australian visas, specific conditions will apply while in Australia. These visa conditions include:

Stay and Living Rights:

  • Live, work and study in Australia as permanent residents (beginning upon arrival).
  • Enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme (Medicare).
  • If eligible, propose family members for permanent residence.
  • If eligible, become Australian citizens and receive an Australian passport.


  • Enter Australia before the specified initial arrival date.
  • Obey all Australian laws.
  • Notify the Department of any situational changes .
  • Subclass 866 visas are required to abide by an attached travel condition (Travel Condition 8559).


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


  • Applicants are responsible for arranging initial arrival to Australia.
  • Leave Australia and enter Australia for 5 years (after 5 years a Resident Return visa to leave Australia and re-enter at a later date).

Malaysian nationals who secure a protection visa should be aware of the variety of services and programs which are provided to them before and after they arrive. These cover a range of areas including introducing Australia’s history and culture, English language training and resettlement support.

The processing time for an Malaysian-Australian visa

After an application is successfully submitted, several factors may influence the processing time for a protection visa. While the Department endeavours to process applications promptly and issue decisions swiftly, delays can occur for various reasons. This may include the need for the Department to verify aspects of an application. Due to the individual circumstances surrounding each case, protection visas are assessed on a case-by-case basis, making it challenging to estimate processing times.

Applicants should note that once their application has entered the processing stage, they are unable to directly contact the Department to inquire about the status of their application.

Support from Australian Migration Lawyers

Malaysian applicants have the option to submit their applications independently, and doing so may not necessarily impact the outcome they receive. However, having support from an Australian Migration Lawyer can greatly benefit an applicant's prospects. An Australian Migration Lawyer possesses extensive experience in assisting applicants in successfully applying for protection and possesses a wealth of knowledge concerning Australian immigration laws, policies, and options. They will collaborate with applicants to ensure that their application meets all necessary requirements and includes all relevant documentation to prevent any delays. While Australia's immigration process can be intricate, Australian Migration Lawyers will help applicants navigate any challenges that arise. While involving an Australian Immigration Lawyer is not strictly required, it can enhance an applicant's chances of receiving a visa and alleviate the stresses associated with seeking protection in Australia.

Supporting evidence for your application 

In addition to the various required documents for a visa application, applicants must also provide further information in the form of a statement outlining their well-founded fear of persecution. This statement should clearly detail the circumstances the applicant has faced, including a timeline of events, the source of any threats or harm, and evidence of where the applicant has sought additional assistance. If applicable, the statement should also include information about how the applicant left Malaysia. Any evidence supporting claims in the statement should also be provided. Malaysian applicants should be specific, truthful, and avoid generalisations, as the Department will verify the validity of this statement.

If applicants are seeking protection alongside other family members, each family member must complete a separate statement.

The protection visa interview for Malaysian Internationals

As part of the application process, Malaysian applicants may be required to attend a formal interview with the Department. The Department will review the materials that applicants submit, so they should approach the interview with honesty and prepare accordingly. If the applicant's circumstances have changed, they are strongly recommended to notify the Department prior to the interview. During the interview, the Department will ask questions to verify the visa application and address any concerns they have regarding the applicant. Applicants should provide further information when prompted by the Department. It may be necessary to seek professional advice from an Australian Migration Lawyer to assist in preparing for the interview or addressing any concerns that arise afterward.

The administrative processes

Applicants should be aware that the administrative process for any visa application can be lengthy. Before applying, they should carefully consider the available avenues of protection. Malaysian nationals will then need to gather their various supporting documents and fill out the required forms, including those necessary for their partners and dependent applications. After the application is complete and submitted, several processes will take place, including health exams, the collection of biometric data, or an interview. If, during the consideration process, the applicant becomes aware of any incorrect information in their application, they should promptly contact the Department. Once a decision has been made on the application, the Department will notify the applicant of the outcome. Though this process may be time-consuming, with the assistance of an Australian Migration Lawyer, it can be navigated with ease and confidence.

Advice specific to your case

Malaysian applicants will find plenty of information available to them to assist in making an application for protection. However, there are times when it can be beneficial for applicants to seek advice from an Australian Migration Lawyer tailored to their specific circumstances. Initial consultations can be arranged with an Australian Migration Lawyer to discuss the different options available to an applicant and to organise any ongoing support that may be required. By meeting with an applicant and discussing their case, an Australian Migration Lawyer can gain a thorough understanding of the situation and provide relevant advice.


Support with appeals and reviews

Sometimes, it may be necessary for an applicant to receive additional legal support for reviews and appeals. Our team of Australian Migration Lawyers is committed to providing applicants with ongoing support, ensuring that they receive comprehensive advice throughout every stage of the application process. This includes after a determination has been made on an application. Not only can an Australian Migration Lawyer communicate the notification of the decision, but they can also provide advice on next steps. If this involves seeking a review or appealing a decision, an Australian Migration Lawyer can offer critical guidance and, if necessary, advocate on behalf of the applicant at the Australian Administrative Review Tribunal or Federal Court.

Malaysian immigration changes

Australia’s immigration laws and policies are subject to constant change, and applicants should be aware that the Australian Government can be influenced by a variety of factors, both domestic and international. Consequently, predicting any future changes can be challenging. Applicants should stay informed about any further information published by the Department and understand how this may affect the outcome of their application. While Malaysian applicants are advised that there have been recent changes to visa access for Malaysian nationals, these changes do not relate to protection visas. An Australian Migration Lawyer will be fully informed about the relevant laws, policies, and materials that may impact an application and can assist in navigating any changes that may arise.

Support from Australian Migration Lawyers

Malaysian applicants may find Australia's visa process challenging and stressful, especially considering the circumstances they may already be facing in Indonesia. While applicants can undertake this process individually, receiving support from an Australian Migration Lawyer may help alleviate some of the stress they may encounter. Australian Migration Lawyers are experienced in assisting applicants in pursuing a protection visa, possessing a deep understanding of both the process and Australia's immigration laws. Consequently, an Australian Migration Lawyer can help clarify the visa process and provide crucial advice to applicants, instilling confidence that they have the best chance at a successful application.

Australian Migration Lawyers team

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