Iran illegals damage Australia's visa issuance (exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, September 19
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Australian Ambassador to Iran Ian Biggs says the flow of illegal Iranian asylum seekers to his country has undermined the legal procedure of issuing visas.
“When refugees enter Australia through illegal channels, it complicates the process of encouraging other visitors of issuing visas in regular circumstances,” Biggs told Trend September 19.
“That’s the trickiest part… We need to have confidence in the process of granting visas in both directions.”
A 2015 report estimated that some 9000 Iranians were seeking asylum in Australia. Almost 300 Iranian asylum seekers were then on Manus Island and 166 on Nauru. Another 440 Iranians were in detention centers on the Australian mainland, while 8000 had been issued bridging visas.
In June of 2015, Iranian and Australian officials met in Canberra to discuss the issue of Iranian asylum seekers held in immigration detention by Australia.
“There are many Iranians who come to Australia happily and legally and directly and that works very well… But the asylum seekers continue to be subject to discussion between the two governments,” the Australian ambassador stated.
“The only thing I can say at this stage is that discussions continue between the Iranian and Australian governments at foreign ministry level and between foreign ministers to find dignified and humane approaches to the irregular immigration,” he noted.