15 August 2008

Over 13,000 humanitarian Australian visas issued

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The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, has announced Australia has helped over 13,000 people enter the country from troubled backgrounds. The Minister has given residence to people who have fled their home countries due to war, persecution and political strife, according to the Government.

In total 13,014 humanitarian Australian visas were issued in the 2007-08 period helping "some of the world's most needy people" the Senator said. Mr Evans visited a refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border to see first-hand how people live there.

"It was distressing to see so many people living in makeshift housing because it is unsafe to live in their own homes in Burma," he said, adding: "As a father, it was particularly upsetting to see children growing up in a refugee camp far from their homeland - without many of the things that most of us take for granted."

Australia has recently organised a work and holiday visa with Thailand, which means young people between the age of 18 and 30 years old will be able to travel to and work in the country.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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