Aust extends Afghan humanitarian visas | Canberra Times

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Temporary humanitarian visas issued to Afghans who helped Australian forces and were captured on the ground after the Allied withdrawal will be extended. The decision to extend visas on an “ongoing basis” is affecting certified local workers, including interpreters, under the Department of Defense, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Commerce and the Australian Federal Police. It also includes people who worked in other functions with the Australian government in Afghanistan and their families who were issued temporary humanitarian visas, the federal government said Thursday. More than 5,600 temporary humanitarian visas were issued during the Afghanistan crisis in August. More than 3,500 Afghan temporary humanitarian visa holders have begun their settlement journey in Australia. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke called on the ruling Taliban not to stop people wanting to leave Afghanistan. “Australia expects the Taliban to honor its commitments to allow Australians and Afghan visa holders to leave Afghanistan safely if they wish to do so,” he said in a statement. “We continue to work with international partners for that purpose.” However, temporary humanitarian visas granted to other Afghans outside the certified local work program will expire. Sir. Hawke said these people would be given priority under Australia’s humanitarian and refugee intake program. Initial priority will be given to vulnerable and persecuted minorities, women and children and those with links to Australia, the government said. “The government will continue to make announcements about Afghanistan and the evolving humanitarian situation in the near future,” he added. Hawke. Australian Associated Press

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