Refugees demand Labor grants them permanent visas, as promised

November 30, 2022
The refugee convergence in Canberra on November 29. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

The Anthony Albanese government promised to give permanent visas to 19,000 refugees on temporary protection visas and safe haven enterprise visas and thousands more are on bridging or expired visas.

As Labor is yet to act on its promise, a convergence of refugees and their supporters was organised at Parliament House in Canberra on November 29. It was a widely-supported community event.

The endorsing groups called on the federal government to urgently grant permanent visas to all refugees living in Australia and those still held offshore on Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru.

The Canberra Convergence also called on the government to provide:

• Pathways to permanency for those on Bridging Visas, including Medevac refugees and others brought to Australia from Nauru and PNG;

• Review all refugee determinations rejected under the inherently unfair “Fast Track” system and the thousands of others in the community on bridging or lapsed visas; immediately evacuate those people still on Nauru and PNG for safe resettlement here;

• Commit to resettle refugees stuck in Indonesia;

• Commit to raise the refugee quota to at least 30,000 and an immediate intake of 20,000 Afghan refugees and;

• Establish pathways and special quotas (similar to that offered to Ukrainians) for other people escaping crisis situations, such as Iranians fleeing state oppression or Myanmar refugees escaping the military dictatorship.

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