Humanitarian visas for people from Afghanistan

Like you, Labor is deeply concerned about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

It has been devastating for the people of Afghanistan, for Afghan-Australians fearful for their loved ones’ safety, for the Afghan staff that supported our military and diplomatic operations for over 20 years, and for our own veterans.

We have heard horrific stories about the violence within the country and we fear for those at risk. In failing to assist those Afghans and Afghan-Australians owed support by Australia ahead of military withdrawal, the Morrison-Joyce Government left too many behind in their time of greatest need.

Prior to Australia’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Morrison-Joyce Government was far too slow to act on a range of migration and visa issues and allowed wait times for visas to build. We may never know the full, tragic consequences of this inaction.  

Labor remains concerned that the Morrison-Joyce Government has not given assurances to Afghans in Australia that no one will be returned to Afghanistan. This is a simple step that would go a long way.

Labor is worried about the impact Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV) are having on Afghan refugees here in Australia. These are people that will never be able to return to Afghanistan but their lives in Australia will remain temporary – unless the Government intervenes.

These are people already in Australia right now – they are living in our community, they work here, pay taxes, create jobs, and employ Australians. Abolishing TPVs and SHEVs and converting these to permanent protection visas for those refugees who hold them, was recently re-adopted at Labor’s National Conference.  

Labor continues to call on the Morrison-Joyce Government to work with Afghanistan’s neighbours to ensure safe passage for those seeking refuge. Australia must share how it is working with international partners and organisations to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan – wherever they are in the world.