A Rohingya Muslim, Mr Hussain fled the atrocities inflicted on his ethnic group in Myanmar in 2013 with his wife, two daughters and son.
A Rohingya Muslim who fled Myanmar in 2013, Hussain Hussain has not seen his family for nine years due to travel restrictions on his Australian visa. Credit: Akash Arora
But following a series of unpredictable events, he ended up in Australia, while the rest of his family ended up in Thailand as refugees.
“Now they are teenagers and in their twenties and I haven’t seen them for so long,” said Mr. Hussain, who has a Safe Haven Enterprise (SHEV) visa and is not authorized to travel abroad. .
A widespread problem for refugees
Hundreds of refugees like Mr Hussain gathered outside Sydney Town Hall on Sunday afternoon to take part in the No-One Left Behind rally organized by grassroots campaign group Refugee Action Coalition.
Sri Lankan Tamil refugee Vinothini Selvarasa delivers a speech at the No-One Left Behind refugee rally in Sydney. Credit: Akash Arora
Vinothini Selvarasa – a Sri Lankan Tamil who escaped war crimes in her country and moved to Australia in 2009 – was also at the rally.
“My daughter will soon be old enough to go to TAFE, but I don’t have the money to cover the cost of her education,” Ms Selvarasa told SBS News.
“There are children who are due to go to college next year, but because their parents are on TPV or SHEV, they are considered foreign students, so they have to pay the full fee,” said Ms. Inpakumar at SBS News.
Words like “illegal” or “arrival by boat” dehumanize refugees
“It’s very difficult for them to buy a house, find a job and settle in Australia,” she said.
Kalyani Inpakumar is the NSW Coordinator for the Tamil Refugee Council. Credit: Akash Arora
“The Albanian government is committed to transitioning those who have been found to owe our protection on temporary protection visas to permanent protection – we will keep this promise and fulfill our commitment as soon as possible,” wrote Mr. Giles on Twitter and Facebook.
“We are very happy that they have announced that all TPV and SHEV holders will have permanent protection, but it would be nice to know what the process will be and when it will take effect,” she said.
Asylum seekers on bridging visas face worse challenges
He told SBS News that there are around 12,000 asylum seekers living on bridging visas in Australia, in addition to 19,000 refugees who are on SHEVs or TPVs.
“Relay visas are often only issued for six months and this [leads to] all the difficulties with jobs, with renting, with health insurance, with schools,” Mr. Rintoul said.
Everything is for them even more difficult and more precarious for sure, including income support.
Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition
According to Mr. Rintoul, while there is light at the end of the tunnel for TPV and SHEV holders thanks to the federal government’s promise to grant them permanent visas, there is nothing in the government’s program for asylum seekers in Australia on bridging visas.
“It’s great that they’re talking about TPVs and SHEVs, but relay visas are something they still need to sort out.”