Refugee Farhad Bandesh is fighting forced evictions after receiving a letter from the Home Office

“The announced changes to the temporary protection visa do not apply to you as you are not eligible for a temporary or permanent protection visa in Australia,” the letter said Age read.

The letter states that Bandesh cannot study on a bridging visa.

Farhad Bandesh at home in Melbourne.

Farhad Bandesh at home in Melbourne.Recognition:Luis Enrique Ascui

“This gives you no certainty or a way of settlement. Resettlement in New Zealand does,” the letter said.

Bandesh works in a factory that produces hospital trolleys and also works in a vineyard seasonally.

The artist wants to challenge the government and will examine what legal options are available to him, but said he would not respond to the letter.

“I left my country and family once, and I think that’s enough,” Bandesh said.

“I thought that when Labor came to power they would send me a letter apologizing for the torture I endured for over 10 years and not a letter telling me to be cruelly moved again.”

His partner Jenell Quinsee said receiving the letter was “pretty terrifying” and that the bureaucracy surrounding the visas was confusing.

“These conditions are so messy and random and it’s hard to fight against them,” she said.


Refugee Council of Australia chief Paul Power said it was up to the individual to make an informed decision about the best option for their future, but it was difficult to get such a short response time.

“People need to be in their best shape and in the best shape that is best for them.

“Our concern is that the way these people have been treated over nine years has really undermined their ability to make these decisions,” Power said.

Refugee advocate Jane Salmon, who has known Bandesh for years, also criticized the resettlement.

“Farhad contributes to industry, commerce, taxes and culture. What’s not to love?” she asked.

She said the ongoing displacement of people was a disgrace and that while there was nothing wrong with New Zealand, many had managed to make a living in Australia.

The lawyer said she was disappointed with the new Labor government’s response to the matter.

“You haven’t brought resolution or justice to these people,” she said.

The Home Office has been asked for comment.

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Joel McCord

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