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Support for People Fleeing the Conflict in Israel-Gaza

There are currently several hundred people who have recently left Israel or Gaza in recent months fleeing the ongoing conflict. Most of these people have travelled to Australia on Visitor Visas and other short-term visas. While it is welcome news that people have been able to travel to safety in Australia, unfortunately, these visas are not designed to support people fleeing conflict. As such, most people do not have work rights, access to Medicare, access to income support or study rights. This has placed people fleeing the conflict in very precarious circumstances.

While those arriving often have sponsors (family in Australia) and community networks have been mobilised to provide additional support, the capacity for Australian sponsors and communities to support visitors who have arrived with nothing and are deeply traumatised, requires some consideration and a proactive planning response.

The Refugee Council of Australia has written to the Australian Government numerous times to ask for urgent support for people fleeing the conflict and to call for a ceasefire and long-term solution to the conflict. We will update this page regarding support for people fleeing the conflict as information becomes available.

The following links provide resources for people who have fled the conflict and are currently on temporary visas.

Advice about exiting Gaza and visas to Australia

The Department of Home Affairs has an information page about exiting Gaza and applying for a visa to Australia. This is not legal advice, and those seeking a visa to Australia should consult a migration lawyer below. 

Legal advice

A number of specialist refugee legal clinics are providing specialist advice for people who have fled the Israel/Gaza conflict and which to seek asylum in Australia. We recommend that you contact a specialist refugee law service that has expertise in refugee law.

You can find a specialist legal service in your state here.

Factsheets:

Casework support and emergency relief

The Australian Government is providing $2 million for emergency financial assistance to people from significantly affected areas of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories who have arrived in Australia on temporary visas and who have been assessed to be in financial hardship.

Assistance will be provided through Australian Red Cross as small cash payments/vouchers that can be used to meet the basic needs of people who have recently arrived and are impacted by the conflict to support their stay in Australia. For example, food, medicine, and shelter.

How to apply

People who have arrived from significantly affected areas of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territories who wish to apply for assistance may do so by submitting an application.

Further information on how to apply can be found on the Australian Red Cross website.​

How to apply for emergency cash assistance ARABIC
Size : 414.3 kB Format : PDF
How to apply for emergency cash assistance
Size : 280.3 kB Format : PDF

Housing

Housing, including emergency housing, is especially limited at this time. People on temporary visas have very limited access to public housing. However, a number of services may be able to provide emergency accommodation.

Find housing services here

Healthcare and mental health

While people on visitor visas do not have access to Medicare, most states provide access to emergency hospital services and some specialised healthcare professionals, including specialised torture and trauma services.

Find information about access to healthcare and mental health here.

Community groups

A number of community groups are working to provide support to people fleeing the conflict. These include:

(Please contact us if you wish for your community organisation to be listed here).

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