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The Federal Government announced this week that it would finally honour its election promise to the 19,000 people who currently hold a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) or on a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV). They will now be able to apply for a newly created permanent residency visa called the Resolution of Status (RoS) 851 visa.
“This brings certainty for many people who have lived with great uncertainty since 2013. The relief, joy and opportunity that this will finally bring to so many people forced to endure being in limbo, will be life changing,” says ASC CEO Frances Rush.
Though determined to be refugees, they haven’t had the same rights as other people in the community and have not had a permanent home in Australia.
The new visa will be called a Resolution of Status (ROS) visa and the Department of Home Affairs estimate it will take up to a year to process these changes. On the ROS visa people will be eligible for welfare support, access to the NDIS and higher education assistance. They will be able to apply for business loans and study. They will also be able to apply to become citizens when eligible and able to sponsor family members to come to Australia.
In announcing the changes the Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles said, “TPV and SHEV holders work, pay taxes, start businesses, employ Australians and build lives in our communities. Without permanent visas, however, they’ve been unable to get a loan to buy a house, build their businesses or pursue further education. It makes no sense — economically or socially — to keep them in limbo.”
Who does the new TPV & SHEV changes leave out?
For many others who still remain without any pathway to permanent visas, there will still be sadness and confusion. Approximately 12,000 other people were also affected by the ‘fast track’ process after being refused through this unfair system.
We will continue support to ensure people get the daily help with health, food, housing and employment that they need while we advocate for them to also have safe and permanent homes.
At the Asylum Seekers Centre this week we have heard the confusion and disappointment of so many in our community who thought that these changes may lead to a better outcome for their families.
Where can people who have had TPVs & SHEVs get more information?
People should get legal advice and information about their own situations. In NSW, the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) is hosting information sessions in many languages. Or you can check out the RACS factsheet or factsheets from the Department of Home Affairs.