Jesuit Social Services has welcomed the Federal Government’s fulfillment of their 2022 Federal Election promise to abolish temporary protection visas, and subsequent announcement that 19,000 people living ‘in limbo’ on temporary protection visas can now apply for permanent protection in Australia.

“For over a decade, thousands of Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders have been living in uncertainty and fear of what their future in Australia will look like,” says Julie Edwards, CEO of Jesuit Social Services.

“It is through the tireless and dedicated advocacy efforts of those currently living on TPVs and SHEVs, and the work of those accompanying them, that this announcement has been made possible.

“Since 2014 we have witnessed the cruel impact of this temporary protection policy – where uncertainty and insecurity have been constant. Now, over 19,000 people who have built communities and established their lives here, will finally have certainty of their future in Australia.”

Since Monday, those currently on TPVs and SHEVs will be able to apply for a permanent Resolution of Status (RoS) Visa. Once granted, recipients will have the same rights as other permanent residents, including access to Centrelink and NDIS services. They will also have the opportunity to sponsor family members to join them in Australia – allowing the reunification of some families that have been separated for more than a decade.

“We celebrate the life-changing impact that this will have for TPV and SHEV holders who can now, finally, call Australia a permanent home,” Ms Edwards emphasised.

It is estimated that this process to permanency will take around 12 months, after which new RoS visa holders can apply for family reunification through the migration program’s family scheme.

“Amidst this exciting news, we highlight the need for Government assurance that family reunion for RoS visa holders, many of whom have been waiting for over 10 years for reunification, will be prioritised and expedited in processing,” Ms Edwards stated.

Jesuit Social Services convenes the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) alongside Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia. CAPSA supports individuals, schools, parishes and Catholic organisations across education, health, refugee and social services in their advocacy for fair and
humane treatment for people seeking asylum in Australia.

Whilst celebrating this momentous occasion, Jesuit Social Services remains concerned for the thousands of people living with transitory status who have not been included in this announcement, many who have been subjected to and failed by the ‘Fast Track process’.

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