The deadline has arrived for asylum seekers who came into Australia by boat to claim protection or leave the country.
In May, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gave thousands of people who arrived between late 2012 and early 2014 until Sunday to 'lodge it or leave'.
More than 6000 people have applied for protection since the cut-off date was announced in May.
The October 1 deadline has arrived for asylum seekers who came into Australia by boat between 2012 and 2014 to now claim protection or leave the country (stock image of Asylum seekers at Manus Island)
However, some 600 asylum seekers still had not submitted paperwork just five days out from the October 1 deadline.
The immigration department could not say how many people had still not lodged their claims by the end of the week.
But the department indicated it will deal swiftly with those who do not apply, considering it an indication the person no longer intends to seek protection in Australia.
Following the deadline, those who don't make an application will be stripped of income support, barred from Australian visa applications, booted out of the country and banned from re-entering.
In May, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton (pictured) gave thousands of people who arrived across the sea until Sunday to 'lodge it or leave'
While 6,000 have applied for protection, some 600 asylum seekers were yet to submit paperwork just five days out from the deadline
The government is concerned 'fake refugees' are bleeding taxpayers of welfare dollars and may have lived in the community for years without proper scrutiny of their backgrounds.
Immigration lawyers and opposition parties have roundly condemned the deadline as 'arbitrary and unnecessary,' but have urged those affected to engage in the process.
The government only lifted the bar for some asylum seekers to claim protection late last year, with many having been on waiting lists to receive legal assistance.
Community legal centres have been in overdrive to clear the backlog and help those who have come forward since the cut-off date was announced.
But lawyers are warning asylum seekers that lodging their paperwork is just the first step in a long and complex process to secure Australia's protection.