As at 27 September 2017, there were 531 asylum seekers living in the community who were yet to lodge their application for refugee status.
They are among the so-called ‘legacy caseload’ who arrived in Australia by boat between 13 August 2012 and 1 January 2014.
As a result of the 'no advantage' policy which came into effect in 2012, more than 30,000 asylum seekers were left in limbo, living in the community but without any means of applying for refugee status. Most were unable to present their claim for asylum until relatively recently, with some waiting more than four years for the opportunity to lodge their application.
In addition to single men and women, a number of those who are yet to lodge their application are families with young children. Those affected are from a range of countries including Iran, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, and Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Burma). Many are also stateless, with no country recognising them as citizens. This includes a significant cohort who are Rohingya.
Asylum seekers affected by the deadline are scattered across all the states and territories, however the majority reside in either Victoria or NSW.
Of particular concern, many of those yet to lodge their claim do not have a caseworker and are not in contact with a government-funded service provider. This means they have been difficult to contact and may not even be aware of the pending deadline. This group are at particular risk of being denied the fundamental right to apply for asylum.