Most illegal immigrants arriving in Australia by boat win legal residency eventually
Nearly every asylum-seeker who arrived in Australian waters during the past three years was granted refugee status, according to figures released under Freedom of Information laws and reported on by The Australian.
According to the report, the figures show that the Immigration Department approved fully 94 per cent of all refugee claims from people arriving by boat between October 2008 and December 22 last year.
Compared with other forms of refugee claims, those seeking asylum by boat had a significantly higher success rate. The Immigration Department approved only 39 per cent of visa requests for non-boat asylum-seekers in the first half of the current financial year. In 2009-10, the department refused 49 per cent of non-boat asylum seekers, and rejected 55 per cent the year before.
Opposition politicians argue that overseas refugee smugglers are keenly aware of the success rate of those arriving by boat, and said the figures will only further contribute to the problem. A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said refugee claims are processed independently of how they arrived in Australia.