Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

UNHCR welcomes Australian decision to give refugees pathway to permanent protection

Press releases

UNHCR welcomes Australian decision to give refugees pathway to permanent protection

This statement may be attributed to Adrian Edwards, UNHCR Representative for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, in Canberra
13 February 2023
Thumbnail displaying UNHCR logo

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has long advocated for Australia to provide permanent protection rather than temporary, legal status to refugees in Australia. As such, we applaud today’s announcement to give thousands of refugees on temporary protection visas the opportunity to apply to stay permanently in the country. 

For this group of refugees, who have spent years in limbo, the prolonged uncertainty of their situation has taken an enormous toll. Many have been separated from their loved ones since they fled their country. Permanent visas will give them the chance to finally move forward with their lives.

According to the Government's announcement, some 19,000 refugees will be eligible to transition from Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV) onto permanent Resolution of Status (RoS) visas, affording them the same rights as other permanent residents and eligibility to sponsor family members.

UNHCR welcomes the legal assistance being provided to refugees to navigate the visa requirements. Swift processing will be needed so reunion with long-separated family can be realised along with a pathway to citizenship.  

Read more about the policy change, including where to get legal assistance, on the UNHCR Help website

Media contact: 

In Canberra, Charlotta Lomas [email protected] +61424 545 569