Refugee Council of Australia
4330221162 b71dcd7fa9 b e1478753973791

Submission to the inquiry into the efficacy, fairness, timeliness and costs of the processing and granting of visa classes which provide for or allow for family and partner reunions



Recommendation 1: Develop a humanitarian family reunion program

The Australian Government should develop a separate Humanitarian Family Reunion Program, outside of the Refugee and Humanitarian Program and Migration Program. This should be developed in consultation with former refugee community members and organisations, peak bodies and relevant service providers.

Recommendation 2: Enhance access to family reunion

In the absence of a separate Humanitarian Family Reunion Program, the Australian Government should enhance refugee and humanitarian entrants’ access to family reunion by: a) waiving application fees or at least introducing application fee concessions for refugee and humanitarian entrants sponsoring family members under the family stream of the Migration Program b) expanding the availability of no-interest loans to assist proposers in meeting the costs of airfares and/or application fees c) introducing greater flexibility in documentation and evidence requirements under both the Refugee and Humanitarian Program and the family stream of the Migration Program d) reviewing eligibility requirements under the family stream of the Migration Program which effectively excludes applicants from refugee backgrounds e) prioritising processing of family members at immediate risk, and

Recommendation 3: Remove restrictions on family reunion for those who come by boat

Current restrictions on access to family reunion opportunities for Protection Visa holders who arrived by boat (including changes to processing priorities) be immediately removed. If the above recommendation is not implemented, people whose applications have been affected by the introduction of retrospective changes to processing priorities be given the opportunity to withdraw their applications and receive a full refund of application fees.

Recommendation 4: Abolish Temporary Protection Visas and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas

Recommendation 5: Restore funding for migration advice

The Australian Government should restore funding for professional migration advice services to support refugee and humanitarian entrants in lodging family reunion applications.

Be a champion for refugee rights

Join our mailing list and be the first to receive active resources. We need you to show Australia cares about refugees.


  • Category

  • Topic