Chinese tourists and international students help drive asylum claims up 311 per cent

ABC News
Date: December 9, 2018
By: Robert Burton-Bradley

The number of Chinese nationals applying for refugee asylum in Australia has risen by 311 per cent in just one year, according to figures from the Department of Home Affairs.

Key points:

  • People claiming to be Christian, LGBTI and love children are among those seeking asylum
  • All arrived by plane using temporary visas, mainly for study and tourism
  • Experts warn bogus asylum claims are a way to overstay visas

Onshore protection visa applications from those who arrived by plane from the People’s Republic of China jumped from 2,269 in 2016-17 to 9,315 in 2017-18, the data reveals.

Despite the surge in claims, Chinese nationals had one of the lowest success rates for protection visas, with the Department only recognising 10 per cent of those claims as being genuine.

The total number of onshore asylum claims for all nationalities soared 225 per cent from 8,587 in 2014-15 to 27,931 in 2017-18 with Chinese nationals making up a third of all claims over that period.

PHOTO: Claims were dominated by Chinese nationals. Source: Department of Home Affairs. (Illustration: ABC News/Jarrod Fankhauser)

Refugee Council of Australia director of policy Joyce Chia told the ABC the number of student visas had increased with the booming international student industry in Australia, now worth an estimated $32 billion.

“I think the fact that Chinese people have increasing access [to Australia] is a large factor,” she said.

“We are seeing a massive increase in people coming by plane generally, and obviously with the massive increase in international students from places like China, it’s now much easier for those students to get to Australia.”    [FULL  STORY]