A parliamentary report calls on the Australian Home Office to improve the visa process for Afghan applicants. One of the recommendations in this report is to issue emergency visas for family members of Afghans who have fled their country.
The report calls on the Interior Ministry to strengthen its relationship with visa applicants by sending confirmations and publishing more details on visa issuance.
The ministry has also been asked to issue emergency visas to family members of Afghans who have left the country to maintain family integrity.
According to the AAP, the report makes six recommendations, one of which is to promote comprehensive resettlement planning for the reception of Afghan refugees.
The Senate investigation began after the Taliban invaded Afghanistan and created a humanitarian crisis in the country.
The final report released yesterday states that the Australian Federal Government issued more than 6,000 emergency visas in 2021 for Afghans fleeing their country. Of the 6,043 visas issued to these individuals, 4,328 have managed to enter Australia.
According to the report, 517 of these Afghans have not yet traveled to Australia with valid visas. The visas of other people in 2009 have also expired before they can enter Australia.
Their visas have expired because Australia decided in November last year not to extend emergency visas for people outside Australia.
“This means that people who have been deported from Afghanistan have lost the opportunity to travel to Australia on an emergency visa,” the report said.
The report notes that people whose emergency visas have expired now have to apply individually for other visas, which usually requires a long wait.
While priority has been given to processing visa applications for people fleeing the war in Ukraine, the Interior Ministry has been asked not to allow this priority to affect the processing of Afghan refugee applications.
“The Interior Ministry must immediately increase its processing capacity and resources to respond quickly and effectively to both crises,” the report said.
The report comes as increasing pressure on the Australian federal government to issue more visas to Afghans fleeing the Taliban has led to 16,500 visas in Australia’s new budget in addition to the humanitarian visa ceiling. Afghan refugees are considered.
Australia’s new budget allocates $ 665.9 million to cover the cost of issuing 16,500 visas to Afghans over the next four years.
This commitment has been announced while the ceiling of humanitarian visas in the new budget remains at the level of 13 thousand 750 people.
Thus, the total capacity available to Afghans across Australia’s humanitarian and immigration program has now increased to 31,500 over the next four years.
The new commitment is in addition to the 10,000 humanitarian visas promised to Afghans in January this year, as well as the 5,000 family stream visas previously reserved for them.