Permanent pathways for refugees
The Uniting Church Assembly welcomes plans to end temporary visas for refugees
February 15, 2023
The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly welcomes news that the Australian Government will end temporary protection visas, providing a permanent pathway for more than 19,000 refugees in Australia.
“This decision will mean that thousands of people can start living a life of stability and reunite with their families."
“We welcome this news and the hope it brings for many people who can now plan for and build their future here,” said Uniting Church President Rev Sharon Hollis.
“This decision will mean that thousands of people can start living a life of stability and reunite with their families.”
“We thank the Albanese Government for honouring their election commitment to provide a permanent pathway for those refugees who have been on temporary visas for the past 10 years.”
Under the changes, people who have a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) will be able to apply for a permanent Resolution of Status (RoS) Visa. Once granted a RoS Visa, they can apply to sponsor family members through the migration program and receive the same rights as other permanent residents, including access to government support for things like tertiary education and disability support.
It is expected the process of converting temporary protection visas to permanent ones will be complete early next year.
The Uniting Church, a member of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, has long been an advocate for better policies to support refugees and people seeking asylum, including for permanent protection for people found to be refugees.
“Inspired by the love and compassion of Jesus, our vision is for Australia to be a nation that treats all people equally and fairly.”
President Rev Hollis said other significant steps are still required, including an increase to Australia’s humanitarian intake of refugees.
“We look forward to the Government acting to meet its commitment to increase the humanitarian intake,” she said.
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