Fifty refugees rallied outside the electorate office of Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil in Oakleigh on August 15 to demand permanent residency for the thousands of refugees living in the community on temporary visas.
Those on temporary protection visas and safe haven enterprise visas have been promised permanent visas, but the processing of these applications has been very slow.
Those on bridging visas are in a worse situation: they have not been promised permanency and they have to renew their visas every six months.
Delays in processing mean that, in many cases, the visa expires before the new one arrives. People in this situation suffer extreme insecurity, unable to plan for the future.
The protest was organised by the “12,000 captive souls” group, a reference to the estimated 12,000 refugees on bridging visas.