Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Media release

12,000 Visa issued to Syrian and Iraqi refugees

Australia’s commitment to resettle an additional 12,000 people displaced by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq has been met with 12,000 visas now issued to Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

More than 10,000 of the refugees have already started to make a new home in Australia with the remainder to arrive in Australia in coming months.

Priority for the additional places was given to people assessed as the most vulnerable – persecuted minorities, women, children and families with the least prospect of ever returning safely to their homes.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said Australia welcomed these people who could now make a fresh start and build a safe future far from the horrors of the conflict.

“I encourage them to enjoy all that Australia has to offer and to embrace the values that make this country great.”

“I am sure that they will make the most of the opportunity they’ve been given.”

Mr Dutton said the resettlement of the 12,000 was another chapter in Australia’s proud history of providing safe haven to the world’s most vulnerable people.

“This Government has overseen the largest offshore Humanitarian Programme in 30 years and remains committed to continuing to deliver the increased level of 18,750 places from 2018-19 onwards,” Mr Dutton said.

“Australia has long been recognised as one of the best in the world when it comes to the resettlement of refugees. We are also a powerful example of how strong, secure borders are vital to ensuring a well-managed and planned migration programme.”

The completion of this intake, over and above the 13,750 places in Australia’s annual refugee and humanitarian programme, is a testament to the success of the Government’s strong border protection policies.

“Large scale migration and resettlement isn’t possible unless the community can be assured that it is instituted in an orderly and controlled manner and that it is carried out for the benefit of all,” Mr Dutton said.

“We want people to come to Australia the right way and ensure our refugee and humanitarian programme is available to support those most in need of help.”