Albanese government has announced that approximately 20,000 refugees with temporary protection visas may now apply to permanently resettle in Australia. Thousands of people have reportedly been kept in limbo despite Labor’s election commitment to abolish temporary protection visas.
A new Resolution of Status visa will now allow for the permanent stay of about 20,000 refugees who have been granted temporary or safe haven status.
At the Refugee Advice and Casework Service in Sydney, Sarah Dale serves as both the centre’s director and principal attorney.
She claims that even though she is happy about the announcement, people who have been denied security for years are quite anxious.
She said, “I can’t tell you the number of calls I’ve received since 10:30 last night, and the first question being are you sure this is real? This community has had to ride so many roller coasters, they’ve been told repeatedly what they cannot do, what they will be denied, and that they will not be staying in Australia.”
“And whilst we celebrate today, that is quite difficult to accept and overcome 10 years of being told no,” she added.
10,000 refugees and asylum seekers won’t be allowed to directly apply for the protection visa.
Their only option will be to get in touch with the Minister’s office and ask for help with their issue.
The Refugee Action Coalition‘s Ian Rintoul claims that Labor has fallen short of keeping its election commitment to end the “Fast Track” procedure.
He claims that they must take action to safeguard individuals whose fast-track applications were denied, as well as those who are still detained on Manus Island or in Nauru or who has been transferred from those detention facilities to Australia.
He remarked, “The simplest thing is to provide temporary visas for all those people. I think the Labor is running scared of their own rhetoric, they’re scared of the Coalition attacking them or the possibility of boats arriving.”
“We’ve been through that kind of scare-mongering. Labor has got a majority in parliament, and they’ve got community support for the changes that are needed. They should bite the bullet and provide the permanent protection that so many people need,” he added.
During Parliament’s Question Period, opposition leader Peter Dutton raised concerns about additional boat arrivals.