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MEDIA RELEASE “AFGHANISTAN STATEMENT”

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HE HON ALEX HAWKE MP

MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION, CITIZENSHIP, MIGRANT SERVICES AND MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS

MEDIA RELEASE

17 August 2021

AFGHANISTAN STATEMENT

Today I announce that no Afghan visa holder currently in Australia will be asked to return to Afghanistan while the security situation there remains dire. Afghan citizens currently in Australia on temporary visas will be supported by the Australian Government.

The Australian Government has granted more than 8,500 visas to Afghans under Australia’s humanitarian program since 2013.

This includes over 1,800 visas to Afghan Locally Engaged Employees and their families at risk of harm due to their employment in support of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan.

Since 15 April 2021, the Australian Government has granted over 640 visas to Afghan LEE and their families with more than 430 people having arrived in Australia since that date.

Australia has supported local staff who supported us in Afghanistan via the LEE program, commenced in 2013. The Australian Government is processing applications from Afghan LEE at the highest priority.

Australia will continue to meet our international humanitarian obligations with our generous humanitarian and resettlement program which is flexible and available to address crises in our region.

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