Queenscliff RAR welcomes the 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 between 9,000 and 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 in this cohort.
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 people in this cohort.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE:
1. Increase your knowledge about this issue by downloading these fact sheets:
2. Print out 'The Fairness Yet to Come Resolution' poster and place it on a community noticeboard.
To download the Resolution poster CLICK HERE
3. Write a letter to/ phone/ visit/email your local Labor MP and Labor State Senators calling for the up to 12,000 people subjected to the temporary protection "Fast Track" process to urgently be given permanent status in Australia.
For a list of all Federal politicians, go to:
4. ENABLING A PATHWAY TO PERMANENCY FOR PEOPLE SEEKING ASYLUM. WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO?
To view the Employer Briefing Paper CLICK HERE
Please pass this short briefing paper to any employers you may know, encouraging them to “call on the Australian Government to review the cases of all people seeking asylum subjected to the “Fast Track” process. This would end the dreadful uncertainty that people seeking asylum have endured for more than a decade and allow them to finally settle in Australia. It would also allow them to access higher education and develop the skills and qualifications that are more likely to lead to secure employment, and fill labour shortages.”
Thanks to authors Caroline Fleay & Lisa Hartley (Curtin University Centre for Human Rights Education) and Mary Anne Kenny (Murdoch University) for producing this paper.
5. 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 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.