A growing number of South Africans are applying to live in Australia through protection and humanitarian visas, The Australian reports.
In 2018, Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton in March said that white farmers from South Africa should get fast-tracked entry into the country on humanitarian grounds.
According to Dutton, white farmers face ‘horrific circumstances’ in South Africa, following reports that they are murder targets, and amid concerns of land grabs following a recent proposal for ‘land expropriation without compensation’.
“If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it’s a horrific circumstance they face,” Dutton said.
These comments led to 220 claims for humanitarian visas made in the last two years – almost triple the previous rate. South Africans had previously made just 350 applications for humanitarian visas from 2008 to 2017, an average of 35 per year.
However, most of the visa applications have so far been denied on the grounds that violence in South Africa is ‘widespread, random and opportunistic’ – and not specific to a certain group.
Of the 570 humanitarian visa applications since 2008, 41 were granted and 340 are still to be finalised, The Australian reported.
Protection visa applications have also failed with 97 rejected in the past three months.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, am Australian Home Affairs spokesperson said that anyone who makes a claim for protection will be considered under the humanitarian program and that there are many other visas available to South Africans such as the skilled, temporary and family visas.
“Almost 80,000 visas have been granted to South Africans since July 2018, allowing them to come to Australia,” the spokesperson said.
“South Africa is the 9th largest source country of permanent migrants in Australia.”