Asylum Seekers Claims Given a Boost with a Faster Initial Assessment Process Determining Claims Starting in March
Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) February 28, 2011
A new, faster initial assessment for asylum seekers effective today will speed up the process of determining asylum seekers’ claims.
Changes to the refugee status determination process for irregular maritime arrivals will apply from March 1, consistent with the government’s announcement following the High Court’s decision handed down on November 11 last year.
Commencing today, the protection obligations determination (POD) process will allow for a faster initial assessment by a departmental officer.
Under this new system, irregular maritime arrivals who are assessed by a departmental officer to clearly meet the criteria for protection under the Refugee Convention will be considered for the grant of a protection visa.
Where the departmental officer is not satisfied that protection obligations are owed, the case will be referred immediately to an independent protection assessor for final assessment, to be known as an independent protection assessment.
The new POD process will apply to asylum seekers who arrive by boat at an excised offshore place, as well as those who arrived previously and who have not had a refugee status assessment interview.
More information on the changes is available from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website at www.immi.gov.au.
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