Are you an employer? Are you willing to write to your local federal MP in support of refugees on temporary protection visas?
Or do you know an employer who may be willing to do this?
There are 20,000 refugees in Australia who continue to live on either a 3 year Temporary Protection Visa or a 5 year Safe Haven Enterprise Visa. After being in Australia for 9 years, living on a temporary protection visa means not being able to access the many government supports and services that only citizens and permanent visa holders can access.
This includes not being eligible to apply to get their partner and children to join them in Australia, even if their families are living in situations of danger. These are families who have been forced to live apart for nearly a decade, including many Afghan refugees on temporary protection visas who have not been able to access Australia’s family reunion programs to get their wives and children to Australia. All of their families are now in situations of great danger.
The vast majority of refugees in Australia on temporary protection visas have been employed and paying taxes for years, and some have their own businesses. A permanent visa would mean they could access what they need to get on with their lives. Now, given COVID-19 and the ongoing uncertainty about a return to “business as usual” for many industries, and the economy as a whole, there are very sound economic arguments for granting permanency for all refugees who remain on temporary protection visas. For example, it would allow them to secure a bank loan to buy their own home and invest in their business.
You can find all the details in this recent report which details the economic benefits to Australia of granting permanency and family reunion to refugees on temporary visas.
It recommends the Australian Government create a stream for temporary protection visa holders in an existing skilled visa, which would allow them to live and work in Australia permanently with their families.
Would you be willing to write to your local federal MP about this?
If so, please find a draft letter here to guide you in what to say. And if you would like some further assistance with this, please let us know.
Email – C.Fleay@curtin.edu.au
On behalf of the Permanency and Family Reunion Network