The Greens have today tabled legislation to extend and reinstate the temporary visas of people who were stranded overseas because of international border closures.
“Tens of thousands of temporary visa holders, including people with established homes, jobs and in some cases partners in Australia, were overseas when Australia’s international borders closed due to Covid-19,” Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.
“Many more had spent thousands of dollars on their visas, had packed up their homes, quit their jobs and were about to move to Australia when the borders closed.”
“Despite their best efforts to return, many have been left languishing overseas watching their visas run down and expire through no fault of their own.”
“The pain and trauma this situation has caused is immeasurable, and there is still no end in sight after more than 18 months.”
“At no point in the pandemic has the Government addressed the pain that the border closure has caused to temporary visa holders stranded overseas.
“They have no plan, no timetable and no pathway for how people on temporary visas will be able to return to their homes, jobs, lives and partners in Australia.”
“The Greens Legislation provides this pathway, by extending visas by the amount of time people have been stranded overseas or reinstate visas that have expired while a person was stranded overseas.”
“The legislation will apply to all temporary visa classes that have been affected by the international border closure.”
“We urge all Members of Parliament to support this Bill.”