It’s not often we can unequivocally say a policy decision is life-changing. Still, for 19,000 people and their families, last night’s announcement from the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs is just that.
We welcome the news that holders of Temporary Protection Visa and Safe Haven Protection Visas will be offered permanent residency, ending ten years of cruel limbo and uncertainty.
For Arian Rezaei, Manager of Ayla’s Café and Welcoming Australia volunteer, who has held a Safe Haven Protection Visa since 2016, this change will significantly change the lives of his family;
“It’s hard to put into words what this means. Ten years of our lives have been taken from us. After so long, we have hope again.”
Arian’s family runs Ayla’s Café, a café in the Adelaide CBD, and volunteers with Welcoming Australia, a non-partisan movement and organisation committed to cultivating a culture of welcome and advancing an Australia where people of all backgrounds have equal opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive.
“Even though we have had to wait for far too long for this decision, this is a great remedy for people who have suffered under cruel policy and uncertainty for the past decade. People can start to build up their lives again”, Arian says.
“We came to Australia with much hope for a safe and bright future.
Instead, we were met with a decade of cruelty and limbo, unable to build our future here with any certainty.
This change will gift a new life to so many people in our community, the opportunity for them to start their lives again.”
Aleem Ali, CEO of Welcoming Australia shares;
“We celebrate the opportunity for 19,000 people and their families to call the communities they’ve lived in, contributed to and connected to for the last ten years ‘home’.
For people who continue to live with visa uncertainty, we recognise the ongoing pain and commit to working to realise their dreams of a safe and secure future.
The past decade has been unnecessarily burdensome for many people who have sought refuge in Australia – we look forward to continued policy change and a commitment to the humane treatment of people seeking safety.”
Campaigns and Communications Manager
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