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Further extension of stay for visitors from Sri Lanka and the former Yugoslavia

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Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 ........... Telephone (06) 277 7860; Facsimile (06) 273 4144

IMPS 26/96


Visitors and temporary entrants from Sri Lanka and the former Yugoslavia currently in Australia, will be able to extend their stay until 3 1 July 1997, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock announced today.

People from these areas have been allowed to remain in Australia on a temporary basis because o f the situation in their home countries.

"The Government is encouraged by the positive political developments in both regions and people arriving in Australia on or after 1 August 1996 will not have access to the temporary arrangements," Mr Ruddock said.

"If current trends continue, there wall be no need for these arrangements to be extended beyond 31 July 1997".

The current temporary visa arrangements for Sri Lankans and former Yugoslavs expire on 31 July 1996.

"Given that many o f these visa holders have lived in Australia for some years, it would be unreasonable to oblige them to wind up their affairs in Australia and return at short notice," Mr Ruddock said.

The extension will apply to all holders o f subclass 435 and 443 temporary visas as well as citizens of Sri Lanka and the former Yugoslavia who are normally resident in these countries who entered Australia on or before 31 July 1996 and who are in Australia at the time o f application.

Citizens o f Sri Lanka and the former Yugoslavia seeking an extension o f stay should approach the nearest office of the Department o f Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.

They will need to lodge an application and pay the required processing fee before an extension will be granted. Applications should be lodged before the expiry o f the current visas on 31 July 1996.

CANBERRA - 1 July 1996

Contact Officer - Laurie Bugden Department o f Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

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