The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.R.110 Refugee


This definition applies to all payments.


A refugee, for the purposes of social security entitlements, is a person who has been granted a visa (1.1.V.40) under the Department of Home Affairs' humanitarian program.

The humanitarian program for refugees and others in refugee-like situations includes 2 components:

  • onshore protection/asylum component - this fulfils Australia's international obligations by offering protection to people already in Australia who are found to be refugees according to the refugees convention, and
  • offshore resettlement component - this meets Australia's commitment to refugee protection by going beyond international obligations and offering resettlement to people overseas for whom this is the most appropriate option. This component comprises 2 categories of permanent visas
    • refugee, and
    • Special Humanitarian Program.

For more information, see Refugee and humanitarian program page on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(6B) A person is a refugee ā€¦, section 23(1)-'social security entitlement'

Policy reference: SS Guide 9.1.2 Visas, 9.2.4 Visa subclasses 200-299 payment eligibility

Last reviewed: