National Ethnic Disability Alliance

NEDA releases factsheets on migration and disability to help migrants navigate Australia’s complex migration system.

Media Release

19 March 2021

As at 30 June 2019, there were over 7.5 million migrants living in Australia: migrants, refugees and people born oversees account for 29.7% of the population. [1]

Australia is hence, a rich, diverse country and migrants and refugees contribute positively to Australia’s economic, social and cultural settings.
Yet, migrants with disability and their families consistently have their visa applications denied because they are unable to meet the strict health requirement under the Migration Act 1958.
An individual or family could have been living in Australia for many years, contributing to the economic and social life of the community, but they will be required to leave Australia because of a failure to meet the health requirement.
Visas are also denied because of negative attitudes and complex assessments related to an applicant’s disabilities. As a result, migrants and refugees constantly face discrimination and difficulties when applying for an Australian visa. The visa application process is, in short, a very costly and cumbersome process.
Migrants with disability have better chances of securing visas if they are well informed and have quick and easy access to migration agent support.  As the national peak body advocating for the rights of people with disability from multicultural backgrounds, we have developed factsheets providing a brief overview of disability discrimination in Australia’s migration system. 
With the information provided in the factsheets, we are hoping to link migrants and refugees with disability to relevant supports that can help them navigate this complex process. The factsheet is available in English and five other languages: Arabic, Hindi, Simplified Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese.
We would like to acknowledge the long-standing guidance and pro bono support of Dr Jan Gothard and the team at Estrin Saul Migration Specialists, who have helped in producing the factsheets. Dr Gothard’s expertise has better informed and strengthened our advocacy and has provided positive outcomes for many people with disability from multicultural backgrounds experiencing disability discrimination.  

Media Contact
Hema Mangad
M: 042 2126 587

[1] ABS Data on Migration and Population

Published by comms on Fri, 19/03/2021 – 10:43 am

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