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Refugees who take up work visas should be able to stay: Greens

The Greens have today renewed calls to give people found to be refugees permanent visas. In responding to reports today that the NSW Government has agreed to work with the Federal Government to place refugees in country areas for work, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called for a proper work-to-permanency pathway. 

"Under the current rules there is no clear pathway for permanency under the Government's new Safe Haven Enterprise Visas, this needs fixing," Greens Immigration Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said today.  

"When first announcing these visas last year the Minister himself said it would be very difficult, near impossible for those on the SHEV visa to ever get permanency. 

"The only visas this group will be allowed to apply for at the end of the five year work period are other short-term and temporary type visas such as 457s and student visas. This leaving people in immense limbo. 

"This simply isn't fair, either people satisfy the work criteria and they get a permanent visa or the whole idea ends up being a fraud by the Government.

"If refugees stick by the rules of the new visa and agree to work in rural areas, where workers are needed, they should be guaranteed a permanent visa at the end. 

"The NSW premier is right to demand greater clarity around how this visa will lead to permanent protection at the end of the process. Leaving people in limbo, unable to know what their future will hold, even when they are doing everything asked, is simply cruel and unnecessary. 

"Without knowing that permanency is guaranteed it will be very hard for refugees, especially those with families and children to truly settle and put their lives back together. 

"With no guarantees of being able to stay in the country, even if a person has met the rules, will risk workers being exploited and refugees and their families being duped.


Media Contact : Stephen Henderson 0427 604 760



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