NATION | NEWS

Australian Visa Alert

“The immigration was shocked with the number of 403 visa holders applying for the protection visa because the Government (Fiji) had sent them here,” he said.
01 Sep 2022 12:14
Australian Visa Alert
Ezekiel Tubuna.

A Fijian immigration consultant based in Australia has urged Fijian seasonal workers not to lodge protection visas because it will be deemed void.

This is after claims that some Fijians under the Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme (PALM) were being misinformed by Fijians in Australia to apply for the visa.

The move was labelled as ‘irony’ by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

This is because the supposed applicants were seen to be running away from, in this case the Fijian Government, which enabled them entry in the first place.

 

Ezekiel Tubuna, in an impassioned Facebook post, cautioned Fijians under the employment scheme not to be hoodwinked in lodging any visa seeking asylum.

“To everyone that is here from NEC (National Employment Centre) under the PLS (Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme) if you have applied for a protection visa it will be rejected despite the reasons you have stated,” Mr Tubuna said.

He was made aware of the issue following a routine meeting with the representatives from Australian Department of Home Affairs.

 

The representatives were alarmed that the applicants did not see the irony in applying for a protection visa when they had been sent to Australia by the Fijian Government which they purportedly needed protection from.

“The immigration was shocked with the number of 403 visa holders applying for the protection visa because the Government (Fiji) had sent them here,” he said.

“I plead with those who have not applied for the protection visa not to apply,” he said.

“Please hear my plea because I care for you. Please let the others know.”

 

“If you are one of those who have applied and you still have time under the 403 visa to please withdraw your application as soon as possible.”

“Please don’t listen to those that are advising you to do so.”

It was found that Fijians living in Australia were telling the seasonal workers that if they wished to stay in the country they should apply for protection visas.

 

No Reports Yet

Minister for Employment Praveen Bala said he had not received any reports as such.

“We would have been the first to be made aware if any Fijians had applied for the protection visa,” he said.

“Also, I do not respond to unnecessary allegations and claims made on social media. I will give you an update after enquiring.”

Permanent Secretary for Immigration Yogesh Karan also confirmed he had not received any reports.

Questions were sent to the Fijian High Commission in Canberra but no response was received when this edition went to press.

 

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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