Palestinians Who Had Their Visas Cancelled On Their Way To Australia Will Now Be Allowed In

The federal government has finally reversed its controversial decision to cancel a number of visas for Palestinians hoping to enter Australia.

Early last week, some Palestinians reported they had their visas cancelled after the federal government raised concerns over their future plans in Australia. It’s unknown how many visas were cancelled and how many were reissued.

The government also suggested that some visas were cancelled after people had left Gaza “without explanation” of how they fled, or where other circumstances had changed.

Others were told it had been determined they had “never intended” to stay in Australia temporarily. However, some of these decisions have now been revoked following additional security checks by the Home Affairs department.

When asked about the cancelled visas earlier last week, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said those sorts of decisions were “heavily considered”.

“This has been a difficult situation for people. I understand that it’s a very difficult circumstance for families,” he said.

“These decisions are made upon advice, based upon individuals.”

Many of those who had their visas cancelled were stranded in foreign countries without legal status and unable to return to Gaza. Others also reported their visa was cancelled mid-flight, only finding out upon landing at an airport.

Despite this, more than 2,200 Australian visas have been granted to Palestinians since October 7, as well as 2,400 for Israelis. Most of those were temporary visas, meaning holders essentially have the same rights as tourists.

This means they can’t work, access education or healthcare while in Australia, and are expected to return home at some point.

It comes as Israel continues its attack south in Gaza towards Rafah, where about 1.4 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering.

Official calls for a ceasefire are growing, including from Australia which finally joined the call in December, as more than 31,500 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began bombing Gaza after the October 7 attack.