Temporary protection visa

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A Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) is an Australian visa document initially introduced by the Howard Government on 20 October 1999, which was issued to persons who had been recognised as refugees fleeing persecution. The scheme was controversial, with the government claiming it was a necessary response to the misuse of the asylum process by unauthorised arrivals. Refugee advocates described TPVs as a cruel way to treat people which left asylum seekers with an uncertain future.[1]

The Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) was issued to persons who applied for refugee status after making an unauthorised arrival in Australia, and was the main type of visa issued to refugees when released from Australian immigration detention facilities. After being granted a TPV, refugees were required to reapply three years later, in case conditions had changed in their homeland.

TPV holders are only eligible for some of the special settlement services funded by the Commonwealth to assist new arrivals in Australia. Unlike Permanent visa (PV) holders, TPV recipients have no family reunion rights and no right to re-enter the country if they decide to depart Australia. TPV holders do have the right to work and have access to job matching by Centrelink. They are also eligible for Special Benefit, Rent Assistance, Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit, Medicare, Early Health Assessment and Intervention Program, torture and trauma counselling, and English as a Second Language classes (for TPV minors only).[2]

The Rudd Government committed itself to the abolition of the TPV category as part of its Budget 2008-09 announcements made in May 2008. The regulations providing for the granting of permanent protection visas (PPVs) to all refugees who have established a claim for protection in Australia were introduced into the federal Parliament in August 2008. From this time, any person who is applying in Australia for refugee protection will be granted a PPV. Individuals who were, as of August 2008, still on a TPV, became eligible to apply for a Resolution of Status Visa, which, should it be granted, is akin to a permanent protection visa. As for the TPV, the Resolution of Status Visa is granted subject to the TPV applicant undergoing health and ASIO/AFP security checks.

On 18 October 2013, the Abbott Government announced the re-instatement of the TPV category.

On 2 December 2013, Labor and the Greens won a vote in the Senate to disallow the return of TPVs.[3]

On 11 September 2014 the High Court ruled the Governments issuing of TPV's without the appropriate legislative powers invalid. [4]

On the 5 December 2014, legislation was passed to reintroduce Temporary Protection Visas to specifically deal with the backlog of 30,000 asylum seekers yet to be processed left by the former Labor Government. The legislation was passed by the Coalition Government with support of the cross bench in the senate. [5] Part of the agreement to get the support of Ricky Muir was the release of all children from Christmas Island detention centre before Christmas which was achieved on the 21 December 2014.[6]

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  1. ^ Hoare, Daniel (2008-03-13). "Push for temporary visa system to be abolished". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2010-12-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-02/labor-votes-with-greens-to-block-temporary-protection-visa/5130188 Labor, Greens vote to block Government's bid to bring back Temporary Protection Visas
  4. ^ Yaxley, Louise (12 September 2014). "Ruling on temporary protection visas could affect thousands of asylum seekers not being processed". ABC News. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  5. ^ Yaxley, Louise (5 December 2014). ABC News http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-05/senate-agrees-to-reintroduce-temporary-protection-visas/5945576. Retrieved 21 December 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Safi, Michael (21 December 2014). "Asylum seeker children on Christmas Island transferred to detention in Darwin". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2014.

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