13 February 2023: The peak body for settlement services, the Settlement Council of Australia, welcomes the Government’s announcement of permanent visas for approximately 19,000 Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders.
For the past decade, refugees on TPVs and SHEVs have been kept in a state of uncertainty, but today the government is delivering on its promise to provide a permanent pathway for these visa holders.
Chair of the Council, Ms Melissa Monteiro, said, “Providing a permanent visa pathway for TPV and SHEV holders is a crucial step towards ending the uncertainty and limbo that they have endured for too long. These refugees have already made a positive contribution to Australia and this move will only strengthen their role in our communities.”
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Hon Andrew Giles MP emphasised that TPV and SHEV holders have been found to be refugees and owed Australia’s protection.
This change will grant them the same rights as all other permanent residents, including the eligibility for social security benefits, access to the NDIS and higher education loans, and a path towards obtaining Australian citizenship, which would enable them to bring their family members to Australia.
The Albanese Government has committed $9.4 million over two years to assist TPV and SHEV holders with the visa application process through specialist legal service providers across Australia.
Council CEO, Sandra Elhelw Wright said, “This long awaited investment will help TPV and SHEV holders get loans, build their businesses, and pursue further education, enabling them to contribute to their communities and build better lives in Australia.”
The Council also welcomes the recent move by the government to restore the family reunion pathway for refugees on permanent visas, which will bring joy to tens of thousands of families who have been separated for far too long.
Ms Wright added that, “This will have a positive impact on the mental health of those who have been awaiting reunion with their loved ones.”
SCOA is proud to be at the forefront of providing settlement support to refugees in the country. This is a significant moment for refugees in Australia and SCOA is honoured to play a part in providing them with the support they need to succeed and thrive in their new home.
SCOA looks forward to working with the government to support TPV and SHEV holders as they settle into their permanent home and build a better future in Australia.
Please see the Refugee Council of Australia’s Important Information about the End of TPVs and SHEVs (including information in language).
For media enquiries or to arrange an interview, contact Sandra Elhelw Wright at email@example.com or on 0403 657 831.
About The Settlement Council of Australia
The Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA) is the peak body representing services across Australia supporting new migrants and refugees. We are committed to building an Australia where every migrant and refugee feels at home, together with our membership which is over 115 members strong and counting. We are a trusted source of policy advice, and a thought leader on enhancing the economic and social inclusion of migrants and refugees.
The services of our members range from greeting new arrivals at the airport, through to assisting them to secure housing, learn English, make social connections, access services and find their first job. Australia’s settlement services are recognised as being among the best in the world.