If you, or somebody you know, arrived in Australia by boat between August 2012 and January 2014 and are yet to lodge an application for asylum, you should immediately

  • contact the legal centre or migration agent that is helping you; or,

  • if you do not already have someone helping you with your claim, contact your nearest legal centre immediately to see if they can help.

You should do this before you talk to the Department: it is vital you get legal advice to assist with your application.  The earlier you talk to a lawyer, the better.

Legal centres are doing everything they can to help people, but they are under-resourced and under-staffed. If you, or an asylum seeker you know, are yet to lodge their application, they should inform the legal centre when they first make contact.

Some asylum seekers may have already received a letter from the Department asking them to lodge their application for asylum. In some instances, asylum seekers who have not responded to these letters within a specified timeframe have had their income support payments suspended. If you believe this has happened to you, you should talk to the agency that provides your income support payments (i.e. your SRSS provider) as soon as you can. Once you submit your application, your support payments should be reinstated.