The Australian government is committed to offering 15,000 visas for Afghans through a humanitarian and family visa scheme in the next four years. This increased scheme includes 10,000 visas for Afghan nationals inside Australia’s current Humanitarian Program and a minimum of 5,000 visas for families. The scheme follows 3,000 initial allocations started in August 2021 and will be increased in the future years.
According to Alex Hawke, this increased scheme is a sizeable one to address the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and is the second large humanitarian intake after Syria and Iraq. He added, since August 2021, more than 4,300 Afghans are brought to Australia and their cases are in the process of securing permanent visas. In recognition of numerous numbers of applications and support of the scheme, dedicated teams have been established to process cases based on priorities.
Number of visas: 15,000 visas
Length: within 4 years
Target groups: Afghan Nationals
Type of scheme: Governmental
The Australian Humanitarian and Family Visa Program over four years will be processed on priority-based and secure permanent visas for Afghan nationals in the guest country.
Priority will be given to:
- Former Locally Engaged Employees (LEE) and their immediate family members;
- Present and past subclass 449 visa holders and their immediate family members;
- Afghans employed by Australian NGOs or worked on Australian’s funded projects in Afghanistan, coalition partners, LEE, and their immediate family members;
- Women and girls, ethnic minorities, LGBTQI+ and other identified minority groups.
Note: Afghans at great risk, individuals made contributions to Australia and their coalitions in Afghanistan, those introduced by UNHCR and the most in need of resettlement are prioritized the most.
Afghan nationals are also able to pursue other immigration pathways to Australia depending on their circumstances, including:
- The Community Support Program
- The Skilled Refugee Labour Agreement Pilot
- The Family Stream, and
- Skilled Visa categories.
Further information is available on the Department of Home Affairs website: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-and-support/afghanistan-update
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