Allow all Temporary Visa Holders to return home to Australia

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As a result of Covid-19 the Australian Government closed it's international borders on March 20 to everyone except citizens and permanent residents resulting in thousands of people stranded offshore. We are calling on the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and the Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton to grant travel exemptions for all visa holders to return home to Australia.

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force has stated that travel exemptions may be granted due to compassionate and compelling reasons but how does being unable to return home for over 5 months not fit the criteria. Peoples livelihoods are being destroyed with many finding themselves in financial hardship due to losing their jobs, struggling to pay for rent and bills in Australia as well as their current living situation overseas. Not to mention the toll its taking on mental health as a result of being separated from loved ones.

Just because Visa Holders aren't classified as citizens or permanent residents doesn't mean that their whole lives aren't in Australia. They contribute significantly to the Australian economy, not only paying taxes, they have invested their time, energy and skills into Australia. They are a part of the communities, schools and businesses, and deserve the same support offered to citizens and permanent residents.

Visa Holders agree to funding the mandatory quarantine on arrival, they agree to testing, they agree to adhere to the rules and regulations of returning in a safe way to stop the spread of Covid-19, they will do whatever it takes to be able to return home.

If you are a visa holder and are stranded overseas please join the Facebook support group 'Australia's skilled temporary residents stuck overseas' - you are not alone in this. Keep fighting and never give up hope.

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