27 May 2009
Asylum seekers in detention may get Australian visa
The Australian immigration department is considering giving an Australian visa for refugees in community detention.
A report from the Senate recommends that an Australian visa be given to asylum seekers so that they can become a part of the community instead of living in detention. The Australian visa – a bridging visa – would grant refugees access to health care, the right to employment, income assistance from Centrelink, and hotel-style housing for those who cannot find permanent rental properties.
According to the WA Today, Opposition spokesperson Sharman Stone said this Australian visa scheme would only work to encourage more people smuggling attempts for emigrating to Australia and draw more resources from the taxpayers' pockets.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has said that the bridging visa program has already been expanded to release more people from community detention and that community detention would remain a reality for those who pose a security risk to the Australian community.
Legislation is also being debated to decide upon whether asylum seekers should pay for the costs of their community detention.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.