On 21 May 2017, the Immigration Minister announced that asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat must lodge their application for refugee status by 1 October 2017. Those who do not meet this deadline will be deemed to have forfeited any claim to protection, prohibited from applying for any other Australian visa, subject to deportation, and banned from re-entering Australia.

For people who do not meet the deadline, any income support they are receiving will be immediately cut off. They will receive some minimal support until their removal from Australia is arranged, including access to Medicare and education for children.

The Government has indicated the October 1 deadline is “non-negotiable”.

This announcement follows on from letters which the Department of Immigration started sending to some asylum seekers late last year, informing them that they only had 14, 30 or 60 days to apply for asylum.