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Yemen visa Australia

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

The Australian Protection visa for Yemeni nationals

While immigration from Yemen to Australia may not be extensively documented, there has been a recent uptick in the number of Yemeni nationals immigrating to Australia for various reasons, including economic opportunities and safety concerns. This contributes to the diversity of Australia's Middle Eastern community, which comprises individuals with diverse immigration experiences.

The ongoing domestic circumstances within Yemen likely provide several grounds for a Yemeni applicant to seek protection in Australia. Following a series of failed negotiations and the president’s resignation, Yemen has been in a constant state of civil war since 2014, characterised by a power struggle between Saudi-backed local authorities and Iranian-supported Houthi rebels. This civil unrest has triggered a humanitarian crisis within the state, as perpetual conflict and the lack of a functioning government have resulted in a breakdown of Yemen’s economy, widespread famine, and mass displacement. For a majority of Yemen’s population, this has left them dependent on international humanitarian aid and protection. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the civil war will come to a conclusion soon as fighting continues to escalate, leaving local authorities unable to deal with the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Consequently, those with Yemeni origin may be eligible for an Australian protection visa. The following sections will detail the various visa options that may be available.

The protection visa process for Yemen

Eligibility criteria for Yemen protection visas:

Yemeni citizens seeking protection visas from Australia have several avenues available to them with similar visa requirements.

For Yemeni applicants who are already present within Australia, they may be eligible to apply for a subclass 866 visa. While there are various visa requirements, primarily applicants must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution based on factors such as race, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group. Applicants must already be in Australia on a valid visa and have received immigration clearance to apply for this visa. If granted, the subclass 866 visa will provide protection and allow Yemeni applicants to remain in Australia beyond the expiration of their original intended stay.

Alternatively, for Yemeni nationals outside of Australia, they can apply for protection visas under Australia’s Offshore Humanitarian stream (application form 842). Similar to a subclass 866 visa, applicants must demonstrate they have a well-founded fear of persecution within Yemen. To be eligible, applicants must be outside of Australia when they apply.

Similarly, Yemeni applicants outside of Australia may also be able to apply for protection under Australia’s Global Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 202). While there are various visa requirements, centrally applicants are required to demonstrate that they face substantial discrimination in Yemen and must be proposed by an Australian citizen, resident, or organisation. While Yemeni nationals can have their immediate family propose them, specific eligibility requirements apply. Proposers have particular obligations in relation to the applicant’s immigration, including covering initial travel expenses if necessary, such as the cost of air travel or travel documents. It is a visa requirement that applicants are outside of Australia when they apply.

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

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Visa supporting documentation for Yemen

Identity Documents:

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

Proof of 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:

  • Original Passport sized photographs per applicant.

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 documentation

Lodging a Yemen protection visa in Australia

Yemeni applicants have several options for submitting their visa applications. It is recommended that, when feasible, applicants apply online through the designated submission portal, as it offers convenience and efficiency. All required documents should be prepared beforehand and uploaded alongside the application form. Alternatively, a paper application form can still be submitted by mail to the Special Humanitarian Processing Centre at the Department of Home Affairs in Sydney, NSW. The postal address for these applications is GPO Box 9984, Sydney, NSW 2001.

Yemeni applicants should also be aware that while Yemen does not have an official embassy or consulate, the Embassy of Australia in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the nearest embassy and is accredited to Yemen. However, the Embassy does not accept Australian visa applications and will not respond to any contact made related to this process.

Compliance and conditions for a Yemen visa

If Yemeni applicants are successfully obtain an Australian protection visa, various conditions will apply, including: 

Stay and Living Rights:

  • Live, work and study in Australia permanently (beginning upon entry after visa issuance).
  • Enrol in Australia’s public medical care scheme (Medicare).
  • If eligible, propose family members for permanent residence.
  • If eligible, become Australian citizens.

Obligations:

  • Enter Australia before the specified initial arrival date.
  • Obey all Australian laws.
  • Contact the Department if there are any situational changes .
  • Subclass 866 visas have a travel condition attached (Travel Condition 8559: applicants cannot visit Yemen and must request permission to enter Yemen).

Cost:

  • 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.

Travel:

  • Applicants are responsible for arranging initial travel to Australia.
  • Travel freedom for 5 years (after 5 years a Resident Return visa is required to re-enter from a third country).

Yemen nationals who obtain a protection visa should be aware of the variety of programs which are provided to them to offer further assistance. This further assistance covers a range of areas including introducing Australia’s history and culture, English language training and resettlement support.

The processing time for an Yemen-Australian visa

Yemen nationals should be aware that upon submission of an application, various factors can come into play to affect the processing time for a protection visa. While the Department strives to be efficient and timely in making decisions, delays can inevitably occur, including when the Department needs to verify aspects of the application. This makes it challenging to predict how long it takes for a visa to be approved.

Yemeni applicants should be aware that once a visa application is lodged, direct contact with the Department to inquire about the status of a potential protection visa is not available.

Support from Australian immigration lawyers

While it is not necessary for Yemeni applicants to enlist the services of an Australian Migration Lawyer for a Yemen visa application, doing so can offer significant advantages. An Australian Migration lawyer possesses a thorough understanding and knowledge of Australia’s immigration laws and their application to various circumstances, including those of Yemeni applicants. By leveraging their expertise, applicants can ensure that their submissions adhere to all requirements and incorporate all necessary documentation and evidence. Additionally, an Australian Migration Lawyer excels at navigating any legal complexities that may arise from an application. Involvement of an Australian Migration Lawyer can notably enhance the prospects of any application and assist in mitigating the associated stress that comes with seeking protection within Australia.

Supporting evidence for your application 

For Yemeni applicants seeking protection in Australia, in addition to the standard documents required for any visa application, it is crucial to provide a detailed statement outlining their well-founded fear of persecution. This statement must include a timeline of events or threats experienced, the sources of these threats, and any available evidence. Furthermore, it should detail any efforts the applicant has made to seek assistance. If applicable, applicants should also describe the circumstances surrounding their departure from Yemen. Specific instances of persecution should be highlighted rather than generalised descriptions of Yemen's domestic conditions, and any exaggerations should be avoided as the Department will verify the authenticity of all claims.

Additionally, if applicants are applying for protection alongside family members, each passport holder should submit a separate statement.

The Protection visa interview for Yemeni nationals

Yemeni applicants, as part of their visa application process, may be required to participate in a formal interview arranged by the department. It is crucial for applicants to approach these interviews with thorough planning and honesty. Prior to the interview, applicants should carefully review the materials they have submitted and promptly inform the Department of any changes that have occurred. The interview will cover questions related to the applicant’s identity, integrity, and any concerns the Department may have. Any discrepancies found in the application will be discussed by the Department during the interview, and applicants will need to provide additional information as requested. Seeking guidance from an Australian Migration Lawyer can be highly beneficial for navigating both the interview and any subsequent communications from the Department.

Navigating administrative processes

Navigating the process of seeking a protection visa in Australia can be intricate and time-consuming for Yemeni applicants, requiring careful consideration of eligibility criteria before applying. When ready to apply, applicants should gather all necessary documents and complete the relevant application forms, including those for partners or dependents. After submission, applicants may be required to fulfil additional requirements such as health examinations, interviews, or providing biometric data. Any changes to the application should be promptly communicated to the Department. Once a decision has been made, the Department will promptly notify the applicant of either their approval or rejection. Though this period may seem daunting, engaging the services of an Australian Migration Lawyer can simplify the process and enhance the likelihood of a successful protection visa application.

Specific advice for your case

For Yemeni applicants, while there are resources available to assist with visa applications, seeking personalised guidance tailored to the applicant’s individual circumstances can be highly advantageous. Australian Migration Lawyers offer initial consultations to applicants to determine their available visa options and provide ongoing support with their protection claim. By directly interacting with an applicant and discussing their unique situation, an Australian Migration Lawyer can offer tailored advice that significantly enhances the applicant’s chances of success. These consultations serve as the cornerstone for Australian Migration Lawyers to fully understand the nuances of an applicant’s case and provide the most relevant advice possible.

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Legal support for appeals and reviews

Australian Migration Lawyers’ commitment to supporting Yemeni applicants extends beyond the visa application process. From the initial application to post-decision support, an Australian Migration Lawyer can ensure applicants understand their application, the outcome, and any available next steps. This includes situations where applicants seek review or appeal a decision in either Australia’s administrative review tribunal or the Federal Court, with an Australian Migration Lawyer available to advocate on the applicant’s behalf when necessary.

Yemen migration policy changes

Yemeni applicants should appreciate that Australia’s immigration landscape is continually evolving, influenced by domestic factors and foreign affairs. Predicting future changes is therefore challenging, highlighting the importance of staying informed about the latest information issued by the Department and understanding how it may impact an applicant’s protection claim. Seeking guidance from an Australian Migration Lawyer can assist with this, as they possess the expertise to navigate the Australian immigration system and access any relevant information for a Yemeni applicant’s claim. By remaining vigilant of these developments and seeking help from an Australian Migration Lawyer when necessary, applicants can improve their prospects of a favourable decision.

Guidance from Australian Migration Lawyers

Yemeni applicants navigating the Australian immigration system may find it daunting and stressful, especially considering the challenges they may already face in Yemen. While applicants can apply for a protection visa independently, seeking guidance from an Australian Migration Lawyer can greatly simplify the process. Australian Migration Lawyers specialise in assisting individuals seeking protection visas, possessing extensive knowledge of the Australian immigration system. By engaging an Australian Migration Lawyer, Yemeni applicants can receive tailored support throughout the application process, giving themselves the best chance of receiving protection.

Australian Migration Lawyers team

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