Nearly 200 Athletes And Officials Seek Asylum After Commonwealth Games

A Senate committee has heard about 190 Commonwealth Games athletes and officials have applied for protection visas and remain in the country.

What you need to know
  • Nearly 200 Games athletes and officials are seeking asylum in Australia
  • The number is much higher than previously estimated
  • Another 50 athletes and officials illegally remain the country

Almost 200 Commonwealth Games athletes and officials remain in Australia after applying for protection, with another 50 people staying on illegally.

A Senate committee has heard 8103 people arrived on visas issued for the Gold Coast event and 7848 have since left the country.

It has been revealed 205 people are now legally in the community on bridging visas while their applications for other categories are considered.

"Most of those have applied for protection visas," Home Affairs deputy secretary Malisa Golightly told senators in Canberra on Monday.

Golightly estimated about 190 had applied for protection and 10 or 15 had applied for other categories including for business purposes.

Another 50 people remain unlawfully in the country."We have had no contact with them," Ms Golightly said.

"We know they haven't left."

The number of visa overstayers far exceeds early expectations.

Initially, it was believed just 11 participants had not returned home, including five boxers and three wrestlers from Cameroon, two athletes from Uganda and a Rwandan Para-sport powerlifting coach.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton last week warned border officials were pursuing enforcement action against some overstayers.

The Gold Coast Games ended on April 15.