New proposal for fast-tracked visa application for refugees 160



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Refugees coming to Australia often do so because they have no other option, and now, the government is hoping to charge $19,000 for a fast-tracked visa application. But is it fair?

Under the new proposal, the refugee’s family in Australia would also need to promise they would cover their health and welfare costs.

But refugee advocates are saying the measures would shift the cost burden onto desperate families in Australia and give priority to people with money over those who are in greater need. Would you agree?

And even though it seems like it’s buying a visa, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection were quick to say that this isn’t the case and instead, the program would help reunite refugees with their families.

It is hoped a community support program could allow refugees and those in similar situations to apply for a humanitarian visa if family or friends in Australia provided “significant financial support”.

The fee is $19,124, to be charged to the first refugee, and $2680 for additional applicants – around $30,000 for a family of five.

It was also noted that this fast-tracking does not apply to those deemed to have arrived illegally, such as via unauthorised boats.

The government paper did not say how many visas might be granted under the expanded program.

According to Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power, while he supports the idea, the government’s proposals were “really about the Australian-based family paying a large sum of money to the Department of Immigration.

“It definitely does advantage refugees who have relatives in Australia with financial means over people who otherwise would have been resettled on the basis of humanitarian need.

“The government has saved money by getting the families of refugees to pay expenses that previously would have come out of Treasury”.

Mr Power pointed out that visa application fees do not include airfares, medical checks and payments to community organisations that help facilitate resettlement.

But the government knows there are people who are ready and willing to pay the costs. So are they more worthy?

Tell us your thoughts and whether you think refugees should have to buy their way into Australia.

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  1. I don’t think those fleeing from terror and oppression will be able to afford the cost, many of them walk out of their homes and countries with only the clothes on their backs and a hope for better future. Economic refugees on the other hand may be able too. I have no idea

  2. If they can fast track them for money, why can’t they just fast track them all? It is costing Australia huge amounts of money to keep these people on these horror Islands, much more than $19,000. Some of them are there for years. Process them quickly and let them get on with their lives

  3. better than paying the people smugglers & getting on a boat that probably won’t get to its destination. Relatives in Australia are often paying the people smugglers to get their relatives here, so I am sure they would rather pay for the visa.

  4. I hope this only applies to refugees not illegal immigrants or boat people. Boat people have plenty of money that’s how they get on a boat.

    2 REPLY
    • Yes Denise because genuine refugees wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of getting on a boat.

    • Quite right Denise, damn near all of them ‘paid their way’, vast amounts of money, like several years of their annual income and nobody asks them ‘where they got it’? It seems everyone’s a refugee these days, pretty soon it will be politically incorrect to use the term ‘illegal immigrant’….

  5. If they are paying people smugglers, why not pay to be fast tracked? At least these people will have an option aside from an unknown fate in a long boat journey to who-knows-where.
    Its a beginning. Someone at least is working on a humane solution. Process them through visa applications before they leave their country of origion.

    1 REPLY
  6. there should be no more as there is heaps out of work here we need to think of the people who are not working and help them first

  7. I hope you watched Agenda on Sky News this morning because this was a Labor idea which has been trialled already. They introduced it after discussions with Refugee Groups and people wanting to bring their family members out here. So you headline message should reflect that. It is a good idea if they have fully complied with every condition of being a genuine refugee but only if it does not mean those less well off will have to wait longer in camps for resettlement.

  8. According to the article “It was also noted that this fast-tracking does not apply to those deemed to have arrived illegally, such as via unauthorised boats.” What do they mean by “unauthorised boat???” My wife came to Australia as a skilled Migrant and she had to pay few thousands for a Visa and had to prove (copy of bank account) that she had enough money to support herself for the next two years and AFTER criminal and health screenings. She studied (self funded) for Australian university qualifications which made it easier for her to find a job without (never) getting welfare from the the government even after two years. We hope “Charging $19,000 for a fast-tracked visa” will include due process for background/criminal checks as per visas for Migrants who arrive by AIR otherwise it’s just a backdoor entry for “Migrants who jump the queue”. Scary thoughts…

    2 REPLY
    • Dont try to work this un/or authorised crap out…it’s just another snow job by the beauraCRAPS looking after their own bums …… NO REFO’S = NO JOB ……..self indulgent bastards

    • My wife also came from Asia, and for us same same, we paid all the way for her and she worked always in accordance with her visa and paid tax and got nothing and now with PR still has to pay higher than normal fees too cotinue with he extra studies . The cost ? after 4yrs plus ****** just goes on $ 19000 would be too cheap

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