What is a protection visa interview in Australia? A protection visa interview involves an interviewer (an immigration officer) asking the protection visa applicant some detailed questions that can help them assess the applicant’s situation. The immigration officer may ask questions to gather information about your situation.
Before we explore protection visa interview in detail, let’s look at what a protection visa is. The protection visa or Subclass 866 visa is for people who wish to seek asylum after arriving to Australia on a valid visa.
As the name suggests, a protection visa is designed for individuals who fear persecution or serious harm in their home country due to various reasons such as their race, religion, nationality, political beliefs, or membership in a particular social group. Applicants must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution or harm if they were to return home.
Those who apply for and are granted a protection visa are afforded certain rights and opportunities in Australia. They’re allowed to live and work in the country, access education, healthcare, and social services, and eventually apply for permanent residency. The process involves thorough assessments of each applicant’s circumstances, verifying the legitimacy of their claims, and ensuring they meet the criteria for protection under Australian law.
The visa application process can be complex, requiring substantial evidence and documentation to support the applicant’s claims. Immigration authorities conduct assessments to determine the credibility of the fear of persecution or harm faced by the individual.
Ultimately, the purpose of the Australian protection visa is to offer a safe haven for individuals who genuinely fear for their safety and well-being in their home countries, aligning with Australia’s commitment to providing refuge for those in need.
Protection Visa Interview
Once you file a protection visa, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) may ask you to attend an interview. So what can you expect during your protection visa interview? Firstly, you need to make a note of where you need to attend the interview.
Importantly, revisit your application to the DHA, and read your statement to them thoroughly. During the protection visa interview, the DHA will ask you detailed questions to assess if you are telling the truth.
During the interview process, the department officer will introduce a qualified interpreter. Following this, the officer may begin by explaining to the applicant how the visa application process works and who a refugee is. Following this, the immigration officer will ask you questions to check if you are telling the truth. Moreover, they will want to test the following and so questions asked relate to:
- your identity
- how likely it is that you will suffer from harm in your home country
- whether that harm is serious enough to warrant protection
Furthermore, immigration officers will ask questions to determine whether there are any inconsistencies between what the applicant mentions in their statements and what they have said during the interview.
Note that the officer usually has a lot of detailed information, including:
- your travel records
- information you have shared at various stages of processing in Australia
- any information received from other parties
What Should You Take to the Interview?
Below is a list of documents you must carry with you during your interview:
- All your original documents along with their English translations
- Photo identification
- The letter inviting you to the interview
- Any additional documents that the Department has asked you to bring
It is essential to speak with an immigration lawyer or a migration agent before the interview.
Protection Visa Interview: Case Study
In the case of Plaintiff S183/2021 v Minister for Home Affairs  HCA 15; 96 ALJR 464, the DHA refused to grant protection visa to an applicant on the basis of “adverse credibility findings.” This was due to a failure on the applicant’s part to provide information to support her claims.
The Department had invited the applicant to attend a protection visa interview, however, the applicant failed to attend the interview. Moreover, she did not explain her failure to attend the interview, nor did she reschedule the protection visa interview with the Department. Moreover, the Department had sent out s56 and s57 requests to the applicant, which the applicant failed to respond to.
This case study shows that attending the protection visa interview to allow the Department to further assess your claims is essential in order to get the protection visa.
Seek Advice from an Immigration Lawyers
If you are applying for any visa application, we recommend that you reach out to our team of lawyers. Our immigration experts can help you with various visas such as student visa, partner visa, sponsored visas, and permanent residency visas and even protection visa applications.
In case of any enquiries, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of solicitors. Contact us here.