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B04/1995 SERVICE PENSION REMOVAL OF TEN (10) YEAR RESIDENCY RULE FOR REFUGEES.
DATE OF ISSUE: 12 JANUARY 1995
SERVICE PENSION REMOVAL OF TEN (10) YEAR RESIDENCY RULE FOR REFUGEES.
The purpose of this Departmental Instruction is to advise of the amendments to the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) relating to the removal of the 10 year residency requirement for refugees claiming a service pension. This initiative took effect from 1 January 1995.
2.The VEA currently requires that, to be eligible for a service pension, a Commonwealth, allied Veteran or allied Mariner must have been an Australian resident for a period aggregating at least 10 years before qualifying for service pension.
3.The objective of this legislative change is to ease the residency requirement for refugees, who unlike other migrants, usually left their home country through unofficial means to escape persecution.
4.This change does not alter the need for a Veteran to have rendered qualifying service nor does it remove the requirement for the applicant to be a permanent resident of Australia.
5.Section 5C of the VEA has been amended to include the definition of a "refugee and a former refugee".
Refugees are defined by reference to the permanent entry permits and visas that were issued to them as they entered Australia or when they were granted permanent residence.
Former refugees are separately identified because since arriving in Australia, they may have been granted Australian Citizenship or have been issued with a resident return entry permit or visa.
Details of Visa/Entry Permit Documentation
6.Refugees are defined by reference to the permanent entry permits and visas that were issued by the Department of Immigration as they entered Australia or were granted permanent residence.
7.Care should be taken, as some of these entry permits or visas may have lapsed because the holder left then returned to Australia (and has been issued with a resident return entry permit or visa), or because Australian citizenship was obtained. Such persons will be eligible to claim service pension even though they do not have 10 years residence provided they meet the definition of a former refugee.
8.Refugee visas and entry permits were granted in Australia before 1 September 1994 to people who sought refugee status after entering Australia as a temporary entrant of some kind.
9.Refugee Visas Granted onshore
The term on shore means that the visa was issued in Australia.
Off shore means that the visa was issued overseas.
It is important to note that the range of visa categories is extensive. See Attachment A.
10.Onshore refugee visas generally fall into the visa class/subclass 800 series. Examples of the more common types are shown below.
810Refugee (permanent) Entry Permit
These were granted to refugees onshore before 12 July 1990
817 Protection Permanent Entry Permit
Granted to refugees onshore from 1993 to 1 September 1994.
866Protection (Residence) Visa
Granted to refugees onshore after 1 September 1994.
784Domestic Protection (Temporary) Visa and entry permit.
In 1990, the Australian Government decided to give temporary rather than
permanent residence to people granted refugee status in Australia (this
was reversed in 1993). A four-year temporary visa and entry permit
11. On 1/9/94 the Migration Reform Act (MRA) was implemented. The visa classes and subclasses that relate to Refugees after 1/9/94 are numbered 200 - 214
12.New classes of refugee/humanitarian visa were introduced progressively under the Special Assistance Category (SAC) program.
13.Visa classes 208 - 214 were country-specific and could be evidenced on a Document For Travel To Australia (DFTTA) or on a national passport where Australia recognised the issuing authority.
SPECIAL ASSISTANCE CATEGORY VISAS (off-shore)
215not issued yet (to be announced)
14.An applicant who claims to be a refugee who entered Australia between 1985 and 1987 but does not appear to have adequate documentation will need to provide DVA with supporting evidence from the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (DIEA). If the claimant does not have adequate documentation, the Department of Veterans' Affairs will need to contact DIEA on their behalf requesting DIEA provide the veteran with appropriate documentation.
15.A standard form is currently being developed by DVA, DSS and DIEA for obtaining such information. Once finalised the clearance form will be issued to Managers, Income Support for distribution.
16.Some former refugee applicants may be concerned regarding the dissemination of any of their personal information. Staff should explain the provisions of the Privacy Act to allay these fears.
If you have any further matters to discuss in relation to these guidelines or with any other aspect of the implementation of this initiative, please telephone Bill Harper on (03) 284 6306 or Assistant Director, Nigel Parmenter, on (03) 284 6361.
A/G ASSISTANT SECRETARY
6 January 1995
How to read a visa label
Visas are now usually printed in red ink. However, prior to 1/9/94 they were multi coloured (green/white).
Visa labels are generally divided into four sections:
Inwards Tab, Outwards Tab, Main Body and Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) as shown below.
Contains the visa evidence number followed by the number of
persons visaed, the class code of the visa and the subclass number.
Contains the visa number only
Contains (left to right):
class code followed by category title and
office where visa was evidenced
person sequential number (see note below) followed
by surname, first given name and the initial of any
second given name of visa holder(s)
text specifying date of visa grant, visa period for
travel, single/multiple travel and visa period or 'date
until' for stay
NOTE: up to five persons may be included on the one label. Where fewer than five persons are visaed, a line appears under last person listed (to obviate unauthorised additions).
Machine Readable Zone.(MRZ)
Contains (left to right):
visa number comprising alpha "V", three?digit post
identifier, separator, computer generated
seven?digit sequence and a check alpha
number of persons visaed
surname, first given name and initial of second
given name of principal visa holder only
(see note below)
travel document number
country of citizenship
date of birth for principal visa holder (YY,MM,DD)
gender (F or M)
visa subclass number
NOTE:Nationalities whose names are readily interchangeable will have their name spelt out in full.
CATEGORY 4 ? REFUGEE AND SPECIAL HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMS
Applicant Family Member
Vietnamese K4011 K4012
Laotian K4021 K4022
Cambodians K4031 K4032
Eastern Europeans K4041 K4042
South Americans K4051 K4052
Central Americans K4091 K4092
Africans K4101 K4102
Middle Easterners K4111 K4112
Other K4401 K4402
SPECIAL HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMS
Afghans K4511 K4512
Armenians K4521 K4522
Assyrians/Chaldeans K4531 K4532
Copts K4541 K454Z
Iranian?Baha'is K4551 K4552
Iranian Zoroastrians K4561 K4562
Iranian Muslims K4571 K4572
Iranian Christians K4581 K4582
Iranian Jews K4591 K4592
Jews ex Middle East
not elsewhere included K4601 K4602
Muslims ex Middle East
not elsewhere included K4611 K4612
Syrian Orthodox Christians
(Jacobites) K4621 K4622
Other Middle Eastern Christians
not elsewhere included K4631 K4632
Soviet Jews K4641 K4642
not elsewhere included K4651 K4652
not elsewhere included K4661 K4662
not elsewhere included K4671 K4672
not elsewhere included K4681 K4682
not elsewhere included K4691 K4692
not elsewhere included K4701 K4702
Eastern Timorese K4711 K4712
Central Americans K4721 K4722
Poles in Poland K4741 K4742
Christians ex Middle East
(special program) K4751 K4752
Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka K4761 K4762
Chileans in Chile K4771 K4772
Other South Americans K4781 K4782
Russians ex China K4791 K4792
Lebanese K4801 K4802
Not elsewhere included K4901 K4902
? Vietnamese — K4A11 K4A12
? Laotians — K4A13 K4A14
? Cambodians — K4A15 K4A16
? Poles — K4A21 K4A22
? Romanians — K4A23 K4A24
? Soviet Jews — K4A25 K4A26
? Other — K4A27 K4A28
? Central Americans — K4A31 K4A32
? South Americans — K4A33 K4A34
? Iranians — K4A41 K4A42
? Afghans — K4A43. K4A44
? Lebanese — K4A45 K4A46
? Other — K4A47 K4A48
? Northern Africans — K4A51 K4A52
? Southern Africans — K4A53 K4A62
? Burmese — K4A63 K4A64
? Other — K4A65 K4A66
Funded Special Humanitarian Programs
- Vietnamese — K4B11 K4B12
- Laotians K4B13 K4B14
-Cambodians — K4B15 K4B16
? Poles — K4B21 K4B22
? Romanians — K4B23 K4B24
? Soviet Jews — K4B25 K4B26
? Other ?K4B27 K4B28
? Central Americans — K4B31 K4B32
? South Americans — K4B33 K4B34
? Iranians — K4B41 K4B42
? Afghans.K4B43 K4B44
? Lebanese — K4B45 K4B46
? Other — K4B47 K4B48
? Northern Africans X4B51 K4B52
? Southern Africans — K4B53 K4B54
? Sri Lankans — K4B61 K4B62
? Burmese — K4B63 K4B64
? Other — K4B65 K4B66
Refugee/Humanitarian visa classes (subclasses after 1/9/94)
200 — 206
201 — 207
202 — 208
203 — 209
204 — 210
205 — 211
800 — 213
810 — 214
NOTES:Restricted Passport Visas were held by Iranian and Polish nationals who were migrating to Australia as covert refugees. Prior to Class 431 visas these special category migrants were identified by the information code "P" on a temporary resident stamp.