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Australian Government needs to expedite bridging visas for Afghans

Media Release
Nick McKim 20 Aug 2021

 

The Australian Government should immediately issue bridging visas to Afghan people in Afghanistan who have made substantive visa applications, the Greens say.

“The Government must expedite visas to give people at least a chance to leave Afghanistan and get to safety,” Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“We understand that the situation around the Kabul Airport is extremely dangerous and unpredictable, and people may not be able to access flights.”

“But we also know that without a valid visa, people have no chance to get onto evacuation flights even if they can get into the airport.”

“Bridging visas can be issued in real time with the stroke of a pen and without complicated and lengthy assessments.”

“The government should immediately issue Bridging visas to Afghan people who worked for Australian armed forces or consulates, partners of Australian permanent residents and citizens, and people who have applied for humanitarian visas, so that they at least have a chance to reach safety.”

“The priority should be to get people to safety rather than forcing them to wait in danger while their substantive visa applications are processed.”

“If evacuation is possible, people’s substantive applications can then be assessed.”

“Some people from Afghanistan have been waiting years to have their visa applications assessed - their plight has been worsened by the Australian Government’s unacceptable delays.”

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