Queenscliff RAR welcomes the recent announcement by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, enabling approximately 19,000 refugees on Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs) or Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) to make Resolution of Status Visa applications for permanency and apply for family reunion. Refugees have been separated from loved ones for over 10 years. It is important that an expedited family reunion process is put in place for these refugees.
Queenscliff RAR is extremely concerned that no pathway to permanency has been announced for the remaining 12,000 people who remain on Bridging Visas. These people have had their protection claims heard under the flawed and unfair 'Fast-Track System'. Some are still waiting for their refugee claims to be determined. Many were refused and are still waiting years later for Appeals to be heard.
Temporary visas lock vulnerable people into a never-ending cycle of extreme distress and trauma, unable to reunite with their families, unable to build a permanent future in Australia, and always fearing that they may be returned to the danger from which they fled. UNHCR has described these conditions as ‘punitive’ and noted their damaging effect on people’s mental health.
We must continue to advocate to federal politicians for a rapid pathway to permanency for all 12,000.
This needs to happen quickly as any delay is daily increasing their trauma, with many at or near breaking point after 10 years of waiting for permanency and reunion with loved ones.
We NEED the Australian community to push for permanent visas for all refugees and people seeking asylum who are in Australia.
Actions you can take:
1. Increase your knowledge about this issue by downloading the:
'Palm Sunday walk Justice for Refugees' leaflet
Permanent Visas for TPV and SHEV holders
2. Contact Labor or Crossbencher MPs by email about the urgent need to speed up permanency for permanency and family reunion for All.
3. Write a letter to/ phone/ visit/ your local Labor MP and Labor State Senators calling for urgent transition to Permanent Visas for all refugees living in Australia and an amnesty for those in the 'Legacy Caseload' who are in an Appeals process.
For a list of all Federal politicians, go to:
4. There are sound economic arguments for granting permanency and family reunion to all refugees who are on temporary protection visas in Australia. This needs to be brought to the attention of Coalition politicians by all of us.
Read this Report:
Supporting economic growth in uncertain times. Permanent pathways for Temporary Protection visa and Safe Haven Enterprise visa holders.
Transitioning to permanent residency will deliver long-term economic returns on investment by enabling refugees to upgrade their skills, sustain and grow their own businesses, employ other workers, and integrate into their local communities.
The vast majority of refugees on SHEVs and TPVs have been employed and paying taxes for years in Australia; some have their own businesses. Many have years of sought-after work experience as chefs, personal carers, construction workers, carpenters, builders and plumbers. Occupational data indicates that many current SHEV and TPV holders have experience in areas where there will be growing labour demand in the coming years.
7. 'TEMPORARY' - view a web podcast by the Kaldor Centre that superbly explains in words, audio, music and art, the stories of people trapped in an endless loop of legal limbo. Meet the ‘legacy caseload’ and the system that keeps them in perpetual uncertainty.