Friday, 01 September 2017
Media release

Last chance for IMAs as application deadline approaches

Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) in Australia now have just one month remaining to apply for a Temporary Protection Visa or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa.

IMAs have been afforded ample opportunity to make an application so that any protection claim can be assessed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Many IMAs have demonstrated they are both willing and capable of lodging an application.

Since the Turnbull Government announced the 1 October deadline in May the number of IMAs yet to apply has decreased from around 7500 to just under 2000.

Those who do not lodge an application before 1 October will be deemed not to have any genuine protection claims and will not be given another option to present claims.

Their access to Government funded support services such as rental assistance and income support will cease.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said that last year IMAs living on government funded support cost the Australian taxpayer approximately $250 million.

“These IMAs are living in Australia with Government support and they need to demonstrate they are willing to resolve their immigration status,” Mr Dutton said.

“IMAs who uphold Australian laws and are found to engage our protection obligations will be granted temporary protection.

“Those who fail to apply or are found not to be owed protection will be subject to removal from Australia and banned from returning. They should make arrangements to depart Australia immediately.”