Monday, 13 February 2023
Media release

Delivering a permanent pathway for Temporary Protection Visa holders

​​​​Joint media release ​with the Hon Clare O'Neil MP​​

​The Albanese Government is delivering on its election commitment to provide a permanent visa pathway for existing Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders.

Refugees on TPVs and SHEVs have been kept in a state of limbo for the last decade. The Albanese Government made a commitment to provide a permanent pathway for these visa holders and today the Government is delivering on that commitment.

Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, the Hon Clare O’Neil MP said the commitment only applied to persons who entered Australia prior to the commencement of Operation Sovereign Borders.

“Let me be crystal clear – if you try to enter Australia without a valid visa you will be turned back or returned to your port of origin. There is zero-chance of settling in Australia under Operation Sovereign Borders.”

“The Australian Defence Force and Australian Border Force are patrolling our waters to intercept and return any boats that try to enter.”

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Andrew Giles MP said all people on TPVs and SHEVs have been found to be refugees, and owed Australia’s protection.

“There are thousands of TPV and SHEV holders in the community that have endured ten years of uncertainty due to the policies of the previous Liberal government.” Mr Giles said.

“TPV and SHEV holders work, pay taxes, start businesses, employ Australians and build lives in our communities- often in rural and regional areas. Without permanent visas however, they’ve been unable to get a loan to buy a house, build their businesses or pursue further education.”

“It makes no sense – economically or socially – to keep them in limbo.”

To assist TPV and SHEV holders with the visa application process, the Albanese Government has committed $9.4 million over two years for visa application assistance through specialist legal service providers across Australia.

The Albanese Government believes that we can keep our borders safe while showing humanity too.

Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy architecture remains unchanged. Anyone who attempts an unauthorised boat voyage to Australia will be turned back to their point of departure, returned to their home country or transferred to another country.

All non-citizens who are found to not engage Australia’s protection obligations and have exhausted all avenues to remain in Australia are expected to depart as soon as possible.

More information, including factsheets in various languages, is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.