The Australian Government today announced that an initial 3,000 humanitarian places will be allocated 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.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke MP, said the 3,000 humanitarian places will 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.
“And for those that will come here under this program, Australia has a highly successful humanitarian resettlement program which will assist all Afghan refugees to succeed in their new lives in Australia,” he said.
“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,” he said.
Today’s announcement of support for Afghanistan is consistent with Australia’s track record as one of the most generous humanitarian resettlement countries in the world.
While the Australian Government operates a generous humanitarian program, our approach to combating people smuggling remains unchanged. Those who travel illegally to Australia by boat will not permanently settle in Australia.
During visa processing, 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.