03 February 2010

94 asylum seekers granted Australian visas

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A group of asylum seekers on Christmas Island have been granted permanent Australian visas, the Department of Immigration said.

Australian Visa

A group of asylum seekers have each been granted an Australian visa, and will be resettled in capital cities in the next few days.

The 94 asylum seekers, mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq and Sri Lanka, will be resettled in the next few days in capital cities around the country, an Australian immigration spokesperson said.

The granting of the permanent Australian visas means the numbers of  asylum seekers on the island will fall from around 1,800 to around 1,720, and help alleviate congestion on the small island.

Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said yesterday despite the centre almost reaching capacity Christmas Island still remained ''the best place to accommodate people''.

There are contingency plans to move asylum seekers to a centre in Darwin if necessary.

Professor of Human Rights Education at Curtin University, Linda Briskman, told the ABC: "Hopefully the processing has been able to be fairly speedy despite the numbers because one of my main concerns is that the more crowded the immigration detention centre becomes the less likely it is that people have their visas and their visa applications dealt with in a timely manner".

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.  

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