From 11am today (Tuesday 6 September), hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers will rally at Parliament House in Canberra to demand the granting of permanent visas to all refugees on temporary visas.
Labor, in its election promise, has announced an increase to the skilled migration program of 35,000 refugees on temporary visas. Despite this, temporary protection visa (TPV) holders are still being denied the right to travel, and there are delays in processing expired temporary visas.
According to one of the rally organisers, TPV holder Arad Nik, these refugees and asylum seekers have led a precarious existence. They have struggled to find permanent jobs, not been able to travel, denied family reunion and the right to tertiary education.
“All that we ask is that the government works out the details of moving people off TPVs onto permanent visas, so our life in limbo ends sooner rather than later.”
Speakers at the rally will include senator Nick McKim (Greens), Andrew Wilkie MP, Tahereh Nassrat (Afghan Peace Foundation), Mostafa Faraji (TPV refugee who arrived as a 15 year-old unaccompanied minor, Iranian artist) and other representatives of Bangladeshi, Rohingya and refugee communities.
Throughout the day, cars and buses will be bringing refugees from Melbourne and from Sydney.