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 cut off. Some minimal support will be made available 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”. According to a media release issued by the Government on 1 September:
"Those who do not lodge an application before 1 October will be deemed not to have any genuine protection claims and will not be given another option to present claims. Their access to Government funded support services such as rental assistance and income support will cease."