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Submission to the Visa simplification policy consultation

Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to put forward our views to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s ‘Visa simplification’ policy consultation.

In our submission we call on the Australian Government to ensure that any transformation of our visa system retains a nation-building focus: reuniting families, enhancing social networks, enriching our cultural diversity and extending generous hospitality to refugees.  We warn against an inordinate emphasis on labour migration at the expense of this broader nation-building focus.  This transformation must safeguard family reunion pathways for all permanent migrants, including those most vulnerable, such as refugees and humanitarian entrants.

We are concerned that a universal ‘provisional stage’ of permanent visa processing, as canvassed in the consultation paper, may introduce a high degree of uncertainty for prospective migrants and disempower people who may already feel marginalised from the Australian community.  We note that restrictions on welfare access during a provisional visa stage removes an important safety net for those encountering unforeseen crises.  Our submission strongly opposes any introduction of a ‘provisional stage’ to permanent protection or humanitarian visas.

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Download our submission to the Visa simplification policy consultation.