Uniting Vic.Tas welcomes the decision by the Australian Government to allow thousands of refugees currently on Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV) across Australia the opportunity to apply for Resolution of Status (RoS) and become permanent residents in Australia.
On Monday, the Government announced the 19,000 refugees who arrived in Australia before 2013 and were placed on TPVs and SHEVs would be able to apply to permanent Resolution of Status (RoS) in Australia.
Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike said the change would give refugees the one thing they had been missing – certainty.
“This is life changing. For too long, refugees staying in Australia on these visas have lived in limbo without knowing what their future held,” Ms Pike said.
“These changes will provide a pathway to not only citizenship but also many other rights and benefits most of us already enjoy and take for granted – such as accessing higher education and being able to travel abroad.”
Uniting Vic.Tas provides a range of services to help new arrivals settle into the community and become self-reliant, including but not limited to support with housing, financial assistance, referrals to legal clinics and specialist employment services, education and health providers, and the opportunity to build social connections.
In Melbourne, we have a Welcome Centre for people seeking asylum to drop-in and socialise or participate in English, computer, or art classes. In Shepparton, our Settlement Hub delivers programs and support to make integration and settlement achievable and encouraging independence.
Sara Noori, Uniting’s Senior Manager of Settlement and Integration, based at the Shepparton Settlement Hub, said the changes will “open up a whole new world of dreams and opportunities.”
“The people we work with – people who have been dealing with daily uncertainty and mental stress of following up with their TPV or SHEV renew applications or the thought that they may have to go back to the life they escaped despite being determined/recognized as refugees now finally have a chance at a brighter future,” Ms Noori said.
“These are people who have been denied so much but will now have the opportunity to do things like apply for home loans to build a house or enrol in a university or TAFE course.
“Just being able to travel overseas and reunite with family and friends will make such a difference because we know how important family connections are to people’s sense of wellbeing.”
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