TPV and SHEV holders granted amnesty

Delivering a permanent pathway for Temporary Protection Visa holders

​The Albanese Government is delivering on its election commitment to provide a permanent visa pathway for existing Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders.

Refugees on TPVs and SHEVs have been kept in a state of limbo for the last decade. The Albanese Government made a commitment to provide a permanent pathway for these visa holders and today the Government is delivering on that commitment.

Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, the Hon Clare O’Neil MP said the commitment only applied to persons who entered Australia prior to the commencement of Operation Sovereign Borders.

“Let me be crystal clear – if you try to enter Australia without a valid visa you will be turned back or returned to your port of origin. There is zero-chance of settling in Australia under Operation Sovereign Borders.”

“The Australian Defence Force and Australian Border Force are patrolling our waters to intercept and return any boats that try to enter.”

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Andrew Giles MP said all people on TPVs and SHEVs have been found to be refugees, and owed Australia’s protection.

“There are thousands of TPV and SHEV holders in the community that have endured ten years of uncertainty due to the policies of the previous Liberal government.” Mr Giles said.

“TPV and SHEV holders work, pay taxes, start businesses, employ Australians and build lives in our communities- often in rural and regional areas. Without permanent visas however, they’ve been unable to get a loan to buy a house, build their businesses or pursue further education.”

“It makes no sense – economically or socially – to keep them in limbo.”

To assist TPV and SHEV holders with the visa application process, the Albanese Government has committed $9.4 million over two years for visa application assistance through specialist legal service providers across Australia.

The Albanese Government believes that we can keep our borders safe while showing humanity too.

Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy architecture remains unchanged. Anyone who attempts an unauthorised boat voyage to Australia will be turned back to their point of departure, returned to their home country or transferred to another country.

Permanent visas welcome but refugees need more from Labor says Refugee Action Coalition, a group which has been working for all asylum seekers and refugees for decades.


“The long-awaited announcement that Labor will at long last grant permanent visas to 19,000 refugees surviving on temporary visas (TPV) is a welcome step to fulfilling their election promises to people seeking asylum and refugees. But much more is needed,” the group has said.

Although Labor promised to abolish fast track assessment program, it has not abolished TPVs and SHEVs as promised, they say.

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And they also want those who failed to be assessed as refugees and were rejected under Morrison’s fast track refugee assessment process, all 10,000 of them, to be given Permanent Residency in Australia.

There are other issues with what the government has announced, say Refugee Action Coalition.

The asylum seekers who arrived by boat after July 2013 wand were sent offshore but are now in Australia are not eligible to apply for PR.

“While we welcome today’s announcement, Labor must end the limbo for all refugees and asylum seekers,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition,

“The contradictions in Labor’s policies must be urgently addressed.”

The government says all non-citizens who are found to not engage Australia’s protection obligations and have exhausted all avenues to remain in Australia are expected to depart as soon as possible.

“Labor has to bite the bullet; they have the numbers in Parliament and support in the community to grant permanent visas to all,” Ian Rintoul adds.

More information, including factsheets in various languages, is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

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