The Australian government announced today that it would allocate an initial 3,000 humanitarian places to Afghan nationals within Australia’s 13,750 annual program.
Australia will give first priority to Afghan nationals within the offshore humanitarian program and afford them visa processing priority in the year ahead.
The 3,000 humanitarian places will focus on family members of Australians, persecuted minorities such as women and girls, children, the Hazara, and other vulnerable groups.
Alex Hawke, MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, said the 3,000 humanitarian places would ensure Australia continues to meet its ongoing commitment to the Afghan people.
“These 3,000 humanitarian places come on top of the 8,500 Afghans Australia has already successfully resettled since 2013 via our existing humanitarian program,” Minister Hawke said.
“The Government anticipates this initial allocation will increase further over the course of this year,” he said.
Minister Hawke added that Australia has a highly successful humanitarian resettlement program that will assist all Afghan refugees to succeed in their new lives in Australia.
“In coming weeks I will continue to engage with Australian-Afghan community leaders to identify those most at risk, with a focus on family members, minorities, women, children and other vulnerable and persecuted groups,” Hawke said.
The Australian government stated that today’s announcement of support for Afghanistan is consistent with its track record as one of the world’s most generous humanitarian resettlement countries.
The government further said that it operates a generous humanitarian program and that its approach to combating people smuggling remains unchanged. It maintains that those who travel illegally to Australia by boat will not permanently settle in Australia.
During visa processing, the government stressed that the safety and security of Australia has remained an absolute priority. All applicants must continue to meet visa criteria and character, security, and health requirements.
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