Australia rejects more than 100 visas of former embassy employees

WION Web Team
Melbourne, Australia Published: Aug 22, 2021, 04:54 PM(IST)

A file photo of an Australian flag. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

While the federal government of Australia claims that former employees can apply for a humanitarian visa but should meet the standard requirements regarding health, character and security, the security guard who applied for the visa disagrees with this claim

While nations across the world are rushing to bring back their citizens from Afghanistan, Australia has apparently rejected more than 100 visas.

As per several reports, more than 100 former Australian embassy employees have been rejected visas to Australia. This came as a shock for these former embassy employees who were hoping to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible and had pinned their hopes on Australia.

"Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has considered your application. Unfortunately, you are not eligible for certification under this policy," the letter from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reads.

Also read | At least seven Afghans killed in chaos near Kabul airport amid evacuation

However, the country is offering 3,000 humanitarian visas for those stuck in the country, especially minorities, women, children and those who have links to Australia.

Authorities are urging visa applicants to carefully assess their situation and see if they can qualify under the humanitarian visas.

Several security guards and full-time maintenance staff of the Australian embassy in Kabul have claimed that they were told their services — many of whom have worked for more than a decade — were not enough to make them eligible for evacuation flights.

"Unfortunately the Australian government turned its back and left behind those 196 people with their families who have worked in different sections at the Australian embassy Kabul, Afghanistan for the past two decades," a guard told Guardian Australia on condition of anonymity.

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"They worked up to the last moments that Australian embassy closed and evacuated its office. They [have] proven themselves with their services and we do not deserve this, to be left behind in [a] bad security situation which is going on everywhere nowadays in Afghanistan."

The Australian Embassy in Kabul was abruptly closed in May as the officials calculated that they could not guarantee the security of their employees at that time.

While the federal government of Australia claims that former employees can apply for a humanitarian visa but should meet the standard requirements regarding health, character and security, the security guard who applied for the visa disagrees with this claim. He argued that even though he had met the set criteria, his visa request was granted.

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