Government Advisory

PLAYFAIR® is one of the leading providers to the Australian Government of legal advice and assistance to asylum seekers requiring Refugee Status Determination.

Advisory services

A leader in our field, PLAYFAIR is the only practice to hold all three contracts available from the Australian Government for provision of humanitarian immigration services. We provide government-funded advice and assistance to asylum seekers regarding Refugee Status Determination (RSD) and to people eligible for the Immigration Advice and Application Assistance Scheme

RSD is the first step towards a lasting solution for people displaced from their home countries. As well as establishing their identity, RSD requires asylum seekers to make a full statement of their reasons for seeking international protection. To assist with this process, PLAYFAIR’s experienced team applies deep knowledge of international refugee law and human rights conventions to the domestic jurisdiction in which the asylum seeker lodges their RSD application.

For over 15 years, PLAYFAIR’s team has worked with vulnerable asylum seekers detained in facilities around Australia or offshore. Our experience in these often remote and challenging environments makes us highly flexible: we swiftly adapt to frequent changes, either top-down (political decisions) and bottom-up (the reality of the ‘frontline’) and remain committed to achieving the optimal outcome for each person as quickly as possible.

PLAYFAIR’s offshore experience

The Australian Government’s policy is to transfer asylum seekers who are Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals to offshore facilities in either Papua New Guinea (PNG) or Nauru. PLAYFAIR has been contracted by the Australian Government as the exclusive provider of claims assistance, under a combination of international law and PNG law, to approximately 1,300 single men held on Manus Island in PNG. We have also provided advisory services under government contract to more than 2,500 asylum seekers on Christmas Island: a small territory in the Indian Ocean over 2,000 kilometres from the Australian mainland where communications and infrastructure are limited.

PLAYFAIR’s onshore experience

There are around 30,000 asylum seekers with unresolved refugee status in Australia, some in detention and others living and working in the community. PLAYFAIR has been contracted by the Australian Government to assist the 5,000 most vulnerable members of this group. We also work with private fee-paying clients and provide pro-bono services for others, to resolve their immigration status.

Refugee: A person who has fled their country of origin and is unable or unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

Asylum Seeker: A person seeking international protection whose claim for refuge has not yet been resolved by the country in which they submitted it. Not every asylum seeker will ultimately be recognised as a refugee, but every refugee is initially an asylum seeker.