This factsheet examines visa options for people who have been trafficked to Australia, including the people trafficking visa framework.
What is the people trafficking visa framework?
Not all trafficked people need a special trafficking visa. Some people continue to maintain their original visa and possibly work or study in Australia in accordance with their original visa conditions. Others may wish to seek advice about specific trafficking visas. The Australian Government has developed a trafficking visa framework, providing special visas for people who have been trafficked.
There are three stages in the trafficking visa framework.
- If the Australian Federal Police (AFP) think that a person may have been trafficked that person may be granted a Bridging visa F (BVF) for up to 45
- After the BVF expires, the AFP may request a Criminal Justice Stay Certificate and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship may grant a person a Criminal Justice Stay Visa (CJSV). A CJSV is a temporary visa that allows a person to stay in Australia while he or she is assisting police and
- If a person has helped police or prosecutors and would be in danger if they were forced to return home, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship may offer the person the chance to apply for a Witness Protection (Trafficking) (Permanent)A trafficked person who applies for this visa can include their children and spouse or de facto partner in the application.
Can trafficked people seek protection as refugees?
A refugee is a person who is outside of his/her country of nationality and who has a well-founded fear of persecution as a result of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; and for fear of this persecution, is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country or to return to it.
Claims for refugee status are sometimes brought on the basis that trafficked people fear persecution because of their membership of a particular social group.