The Australian government should develop and publicly release criteria for temporary visa holders to be allowed to return to Australia.
During the COVID-19 select committee hearing today it was revealed that Australian Border Force officials have no criteria for granting exemptions to the travel ban for ‘compelling and compassionate’ grounds.
“The decision making on this has been completely arbitrary, leaving hundreds of people stranded overseas, despite holding valid visas,” Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.
“Many of these people have family, homes and jobs here, pay taxes here, and send their kids to school in Australia.”
“We need clear and consistent guidelines that allow people to return to Australia on a compassionate or compelling basis, and these need to be released publicly so people can understand the decision making process.”
“People with immediate family in Australia, or who face hardship and harm by being stuck overseas, should be allowed to return.”