Calls for Australia Gov to Issue “Uplift” Protection Visas for Gaza War Refugees


The Refugee Advice and Casework Service has noted the vast increase in arrivals of desperate Gaza and Palestinian refugees, of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, into Australia. The Home Affairs Department estimates up from 66 in April, 110 in March, 88 in February and 33 in January.

RACS has also reported a mass majority are not applying for refugee visas, but instead visitors’ visas for themselves and their families, and then applying for protection visas once already on Australian soil. A visitors’ visa allows refugees to visit Australia with their families and remain for twelve months, but because this visa classifies them as tourists they are not permitted to work, study, or have access to healthcare. RACS states that such temporary status is not feasible for the dire circumstances of these refugees.

Because the decision to apply for visitors’ visas is recommended by the Australian government, RACS is asking to instead issue new emergency protocols for Gaza refugees. Protocols similar to the 449 visa – Support for Temporary Humanitarian Stay – used by refugees evacuated from Afghanistan.


By Lachlan Scouler