The Special Humanitarian Program (SHP)

Many more applications are received under the Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) each year than the number of places available. Applicants who do not meet the Australian Government’s resettlement priorities are not likely to be successful. Average processing times are between 12-18 months from lodgement date.

Processing priorities

Priority groups within the SHP are:

  1. applicant is proposed by an immediate family member who holds an SHP visa OR the applicant is proposed by a relative who genuinely resides in a regional location* and who does not hold an Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status(CD-851) visa
  2. applicant is proposed by a close family member who does not hold a Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status (CD-851) visa (partners, children, parents and siblings who do not otherwise meet the 'split family' definition)
  3. applicant is proposed by an extended family member who does not hold a Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status visa (CD-851) (grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews)
  4. applicant is proposed by a friend or distant relative who does not hold a Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status (CD-851) visa or by a community organisation
  5. applicant is proposed a person who holds a Protection (XA-866) or Resolution of Status (CD-851) visa. Note – this is only until these proposers become Australian citizens, then applications they propose become priority 1, 2, 3 or 4 according to their relationship.

*Under the SHP, a regional location is anywhere in Australia except Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney. Evidence of residency must be provided by the proposer. This could include a telephone, rates or utility bill that shows the proposer's name and address.

Applying for an SHP visa

Information about eligibility criteria and how to apply for an SHP visa is available:
See: Global Special Humanitarian visa (subclass 202).