A Tamil family in detention on Christmas Island while they fight to remain in Australia could be there for months with their next court hearing scheduled in December.
Sri Lankan parents Priya and Nadesalingam and their Australian-born daughter Kopika, four, have had their had their refugee claims rejected.
Their hopes are now pinned on two-year old Tharunicaa, whose visa application has never previously been considered and is now subject to an upcoming Federal Court trial.
During a brief hearing on Wednesday Justice Mark Mochinsky ordered the parties file all applications, defences and replies by December 2 and that all applications to access documents be filed by December 9.
The case is due to return to court on December 16.
The federal government has said the family will remain on Christmas Island until their legal matters are finalised, despite a request from the United Nations on October 2 that the family be transferred to community detention within 30 days.
A Home Affairs Department spokesperson told AAP at the time they were aware of the interim request but the family would remain where they are.
Priya has previously described jail-like conditions on Christmas Island but said it's preferable to being returned to Sri Lanka.
The Federal Court has yet to set a date for the trial, or decide whether the case will be heard by one judge or the full court.
Australian Associated Press