06 February 2012

MIA calls for increases to Australian humanitarian visa program

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In a submission to the Australian immigration department, the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) called for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to create a Humanitarian Program which is both 'larger in size and broader in scope'.

Australian immigration

MIA says the Australian immigration department should grant more humanitarian visas and process asylum seekers outside of detention.

The submission is part of an annual review of the current Humanitarian Program run by the Australian immigration department and includes a variety of recommendations, most of which concern increasing the number of Australia visa grants in the Humanitarian Program.

MIA CEO Maurene Horder said "we can and should accept more refugees and other humanitarian entrants. The Institute supports generally the innovative measures proposed by this Paper and will seriously consider any solutions to government can offer to the millions seeking protection worldwide."

Recommendations in the paper also include a Private Sponsorship Program (PSP) which would allow charities or individuals to sponsor refugees as well as an increase in the number of asylum seekers Australia takes in.

"If these ideas help Australia manage operations more efficiently, the MIA would like to see total intake increase proportionately," said Ms Horder. "Similarly, we call for all asylum seekers, no matter their method of arrival, to be processed outside of detention, and for the hundreds of millions of dollars saved through that reform to be used to increase the annual number of humanitarian visa grants."

The Migration Institute of Australia is the peak body for professionals with the migration agency and represents over 2,000 Registered Migrations Agents (RMAs). Approximately 20% of the Institute's RMAs are concerned with the Humanitarian Program.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa with the Australian Embassy.

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