No new refugee permanent migration paths

Scott Morrison has ruled out any new schemes designed to give refugees another way to stay.
Scott Morrison has ruled out any new schemes designed to give refugees another way to stay.

Next week's budget will not contain any new pathways to permanent residency for refugees in Australia on temporary visas.

Permanent migration into Australia has plunged into negative territory due to coronavirus border closures, which will cause long-term economic damage.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was on Thursday asked whether skilled and motivated refugees could help fill the void.

Mr Morrison said there were already programs in place for people seeking protection to remain in the country.

Two schemes are specifically tailored to almost 18,000 people who arrived by boat prior to 2014.

Asylum seekers on temporary protection visas can stay for three years.

Another program - the safe haven enterprise visa - lets people work or study in the regions for five years before applying for permanent residency.

There are also about 80,000 people in Australia after arriving by air who are on bridging visas while their claims for protection are considered.

The prime minister has ruled out introducing any new schemes designed to give refugees another way to stay.

"You don't need to fix something that is not broken. There is already a mechanism there to provide for that," he told the National Press Club in Canberra.

Australian Associated Press