The following can be attributed to a Department of Home Affairs spokesperson:
- The Department does not comment on individual cases.
- The Department of Home Affairs is urgently processing the on-hand Afghan LEE caseload.
- Visa grants this year under the LEE program are the highest since 2013-14
- The Department is working with other Government agencies and providers to facilitate the processing of applications and the movement of these visa holders to Australia.
- On 12 December 2012 the Australian Government announced it would offer resettlement to eligible Locally Engaged Employees (LEE) at risk of harm due to their employment in support of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan.
- An applicant must first be certified as being at significant risk of harm as a result of their employment or support to Australia’s mission, after which they may apply for a humanitarian visa.
- Following certification, the applicant lodges a humanitarian visa application with the Department of Home Affairs and is able to include eligible family members.
- Visa applications from certified LEE are afforded the highest processing priority within the Humanitarian Program but applicants must still meet rigorous health, character and national security requirements. Depending on individual circumstances this may take a significant period of time.
- Afghan LEEs and their immediate family members with valid Australian visas are automatically exempt from Australia’s travel restrictions.
- Since 2013, over 1400 visas have been granted to Afghan LEE and their eligible family members.
- Since 15 April 2021, over 150 people have been granted a visa under the Afghan LEE program (including family members).