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Visa policy for at-risk Afghan employees

Eligible locally-engaged Afghan employees at risk of harm because they were employed in support of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan will be offered resettlement to Australia under a new visa policy announced by the Government.

The new policy is similar to previous arrangements established to resettle locally engaged Iraqi employees and their family members who supported Australia’s mission in Iraq.

This visa policy is intended for locally engaged Afghan employees who are at the greatest risk of harm because of their work supporting Australia’s mission in Afghanistan.

Locally engaged Afghan employees who are interested in resettling in Australia will be assessed by the Australian agency that employed them and against specific threat criteria.

This will consider the level of direct support the applicant has provided to Australia’s mission in Afghanistan as well as its public profile, location and the period of employment.

Relevant Australian agencies include Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID and the Australian Federal Police. These agencies have employed Afghan people in a range of roles including interpreters and drivers.

If certified as eligible by the relevant Australian agency, Afghan employees will then be able apply for a visa under Australia’s Humanitarian Program and will need to meet the standard visa criteria including health, character and security requirements.

Successful applicants will be resettled under Australia’s Humanitarian Program, administered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship with access to the same suite of resettlement services as any other humanitarian entrants.