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Refugees and asylum seekers

Refugees and asylum seekers

Interpreting services 

Legal Aid WA uses the services of accredited and confidential interpreters where needed. Please let our staff know if you need an interpreter when making an appointment. Appointments can be made in person at any Legal Aid WA office or through the Legal Aid WA Infoline on 1300 650 579. 

You may also find the following accredited interpreting services helpful:

Most legal inquiries made to Legal Aid WA from refugees and asylum seekers involve dealing with their immigration status. The Legal Aid WA website has specific information about Immigration Services and Family Violence and Immigration that may be helpful if you are a refugee or an asylum seeker. For more information, contact the Legal Aid WA Infoline on 1300 650 579.  

Further legal and community services providing information for migrants and people from non-English speaking and culturally diverse backgrounds are listed below. These services are not Legal Aid WA services. Legal Aid WA expressly disclaims any liability and responsibility for the advice and information provided by non Legal Aid WA services and advises there may be other organisations able to provide you with advice and information that are not included on this website. 

Community services

ASeTTS (West Australian Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors) staff provide counselling and support to people who have been tortured or traumatised by violent conflicts. For more information, contact ASeTTS on (08) 9227 2700. 

Contact The Humanitarian Group on (08) 9227 7311. It provides professional and accessible migration assistance, legal advice and education to people new to WA from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds including humanitarian visa holders, asylum seekers, refugees and people who are otherwise disadvantaged in their access to legal services.  Services provided include in relation to:

  • Protection visas: these are visas issued to people outside of their home country who cannot return home because they are at risk of persecution or serious human rights violations.
  • Temporary protection visas (TPVs) Project: this project has been set up to provide assistance for the approximately 2,000 asylum seekers currently living in WA who arrived by boat between August 2012 and December 2013 who are subject to a fast track assessment process to determine their eligibility for TPVs.
  • Family reunion: when people are forced to leave their home country due to a fear of persecution or serious human rights violations, they are often separated from their family who may still be in serious danger. The Humanitarian Group works with these people to help reunite them with their families.
  • General legal help: working with people from CaLD backgrounds seeking general legal advice. It helps them understand the law and exercise their rights as well as referring them to other organisations for further help in settling in Australia.
  • Administrative review assistance: providing various levels of information, advice and help for administrative review for people who have received negative migration decisions.  

CARAD (Coalition for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees) offers support to people who have fled war, torture and oppression. They can assist with accommodation, provide literacy, numeracy and homework skills programs and other settlement support services to people with Temporary Protection visas or Bridging visas. For more information, contact CARAD on (08) 9227 7322.

Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre provides an advocacy service for people with a disability who are from a non-English speaking background. For more information, contact the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre on (08) 9388 7455 or 1800 659 921.  

Fremantle Multicultural Centre assists migrants and refugees who need crisis accommodation and settlement support. They also provide employment and training classes and English classes as well as many other services to assist migrants and refugees settle in Western Australia. For more information, contact the Fremantle Multicultural Centre on (08) 9336 8282. 

Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre Inc provides legal and non legal services to recently arrived migrants and refugees. For more information, contact the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre Inc on (08) 9345 5755. 

Multicultural Services Centre of WA Inc provides education and training programs to help migrants and refugees settle in Western Australia. For more information, contact the Multicultural Services Centre of WA Inc on (08) 9328 2699. 

Multicultural Women's Advocacy Service assists women and children from non-English speaking backgrounds who have experienced or are at risk of domestic violence. Staff provide referrals to women's refuges, advocate on behalf of women with government departments for emergency accommodation and financial assistance and provide safety planning and counselling services. For more information, contact the Multicultural Women's Advocacy Service on (08) 9328 1200. 

Government services

Centrelink has services to help people from non-English speaking or culturally diverse backgrounds including language, literacy and numeracy programs and financial assistance. If you have recently arrived in Australia on a humanitarian or refugee visa, you may be eligible for a crisis payment. For more information, contact the Centrelink Multicultural Call Centre on 131 202.

Department of Home Affairs (which includes the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) is the Commonwealth government department that makes decisions about the status of applications for immigration to Australia. The Department website has detailed information about the different categories of visas and about Australia's Refugee & Humanitarian program. For more information, contact the Department on 131 881. 

Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) reviews decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs (formerly the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) made in relation to general visas and protection visasThe online application forms provide detailed information about how to lodge applications with the Migration and Refugee Division of the AAT. For more information, contact the Migration and Refugee Division of the AAT on 1800 228 333.

Office of Multicultural Interests has an online directory of services available on their website. For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Interests on (08) 6552 1500.  

Western Australia Police, Community Diversity- Multicultural Unit staff can assist migrants and people from non-English speaking backgrounds access Police services. For more information, contact the Western Australia Police Service on 131 444 or contact the Western Australia Police, Community Diversity Unit on (08) 9222 1063.  

Important: The telephone numbers listed above for the Western Australia Police Service are not the telephone numbers to be used in an emergency or life threatening situation. If you have an emergency or life threatening situation, contact the Western Australia Police Service on 000. 


Last reviewed: 20/09/2013

Last modified: 2/01/2018 4:00 PM


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.