Temporary Visa - Victorian Refugee Health Network

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Temporary Visa - Victorian Refugee Health Network
Health Pathways for Asylum
Seekers on Bridging Visa E (BVE)
What are Bridging Visas and how
do asylum seekers on BVEs
access health care in Victoria?
Last updated February 2013
Summary of Slides
 Overview and definition of BVE
 Income/housing and case work support
 Health Services on Christmas Island and other
Detention facilities
 Health services provision and supports
 Resources available
Definitions
Asylum Seeker
• An Asylum seeker is a
person who has applied
for a refugee protection
visa
• They are waiting for a
decision on this
application
Refugee
• A refugee is someone whose
asylum claim has been
successful and who has
received a refugee protection
visa
• Refugee protection visas are
granted if someone is found to
have “a well founded fear of
persecution on the grounds of
race, religion, nationality or
membership of a particular
social group or political
opinion”
Australian Humanitarian Program
13,759 visas were granted
in 2011-12
(Increasing to 20,000 in
2012-13 )
2012-13 intake included:
6,004 Refugee (offshore)
category visas granted
(including Women at Risk
visas).
7,755 Other humanitarian
visas, including
• 714 Special Humanitarian
Visa ( SHP)
• 7,041 Onshore Visas
granted (who have applied
for protection in Australia)
Boat Arrivals
Irregular Maritime Arrivals (IMAs)
 Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran  Torture and trauma
experiences are common
and Iraq currently main
countries of origin
 May have had poor access
to previous health care
 In 2011-12:
 85% people that arrive by
 People who arrive in
boat were men or boys on
Australia without a valid
their own*
visa are placed in
 17% of people that arrive by
mandatory detention
boat were unaccompanied
 Time in detention can affect
minors*
health outcomes
*DIAC Annual Report 2011-12
Location of detention facilities
Average
Time
Spent in
Detention
Period Detained
Total
7 days or less
45
% of
Total
0.5%
8 days - 31 days
1104
12.2%
32 days - 91 days
3576
39.5%
92 days - 182 days
2648
29.2%
Length of Time in
Detention as at 31
Dec 2012
183 days - 365 days
763
8.4%
366 days - 547 days
171
1.9%
548 days - 730 days
161
1.8%
Greater than 730 days 591
Total
9059
6.5%
100%
Source: DIAC, Immigration Detention Statistics Summary, 31 December 2012
Permanent protection in Australia
Arriving by boat or plane – asylum pathways
Non Irregular Maritime Arrivals
(Non IMAs) arrive by air with a
valid visa and subsequently
apply for protection
Asylum seeker in the
community; Bridging Visa A or
Bridging Visa E
People who have arrived by boat
(IMA) (and those that arrive by
plane without a valid visa)
Mandatory Detention (including
Community Detention)
Asylum seeker in the community;
Bridging Visa E
Permanent
Protection
Visa 866
or granted a non
humanitarian
visa.
Repatriation
to country of
origin.
Permanent
Protection
Visa 866 or
another visa.
Repatriation to
country of
origin.
Criteria for Bridging Visa E
Moving out of detention
• Case by case consideration
• Initial checks including health, security and identity are
completed
• Behaviour and co-operation with DIAC are taken into
consideration
• Some circumstances Unaccompanied Minors (UAM)
move from Community Detention to BVE
Bridging Visa E/OCt 2012
What is a Bridging Visa E(BVE)?
 A BVE is a Temporary

Visa that is held by Asylum
seekers whilst they are
awaiting the result of their
claim for permanent
protection in Australia
 People on BVEs can
remain lawfully within

Australia
Asylum seekers who
arrived in Australia by boat
prior to 13 August 2012
are allowed to work in
Australia (work rights) and
are Medicare eligible.
(work  Medicare )
Asylum seekers who
arrived in Australia by boat
on or after 13 August
2012 have NO work rights,
but are Medicare eligible.
(work  Medicare )
Bridging Visa E(BVE) contd
 BVE holders live in the
community following
health, security and
identity checks.
 BVE holders are typically
men on their own, as
unaccompanied minors,
women, families and more
vulnerable men are placed
into the Community
Detention program.
How long are BVEs granted for?
 BVEs remain in effect
 If they fail to abide they are
while a person’s
liable for visa cancellation
permanent protection
and risk being returned to
case is being resolved
detention
 Length of BVE may vary
 BVE holders are expected
to abide by all visa
conditions
Bridging Visa E/OCt 2012
What happens once a person
is released from detention
onto a BVE?
Transitional CAS
First 6 weeks of support in the community
 CAS stands for Community 
Assistance Support.
 Transitional CAS is provided
by Red Cross or AMES in
Victoria for 6 weeks.

 Up to 600 clients per month
are entering this program in 
Victoria.
Clients are directly referred
from the Department of
Immigration and Detention
(DIAC) to this program
Group orientation and
individual case work support
Income support including
living allowance and rent
assistance (equivalent to
89% of Centrelink payments)
Transitional CAS contd
First 6 weeks of support in the community
 Health and welfare support
 Housing support:
emergency short term
 PBS prescription medication
accommodation for clients
eligibility
who are unable to stay
 After six weeks people are
with community links then assessed by DIAC,
then support to access the
who determine ongoing
private rental market.
support options
 Clients circumstances are
regularly reviewed
Support following initial six weeks
• During the fifth week of transition DIAC assess clients’
ongoing needs post 6 weeks.
• Following the initial support by Transitional Community
Assistance Support stream DIAC could refer to:
• Community Assistance Support (CAS) as an ‘ongoing’ client
• Asylum Seekers Assistance Scheme (ASAS)
• No Program – this is where clients do not meet the eligibility
criteria for either CAS Ongoing or ASAS or are able to
provide for themselves so receive neither CAS or ASAS
Asylum Seeker Assistance
Scheme (ASAS)
 ASAS is administered by the Australian Red Cross and
AMES.
 Support through ASAS can include:
•
Financial support
• Referral for basic health, welfare support and
torture and trauma counseling
•
Case work support
Clients who have been previously assessed as
NOT requiring CAS or ASAS by DIAC can selfrefer to ASAS
Bridging Visa E/OCt 2012
CAS Ongoing
Eligibility criteria:
 On a bridging visa
 Serious physical or mental
health issue
 Elderly and unable to
support self
 Serious family issues
Support includes;
 case work support
 financial assistance (89%
of Centrelink)
 medicine
 material aid
 referral to other services
including torture and
trauma counselling
Can people on BVEs choose
where they live?
 BVE holders are required to
 BVE holders can choose
advise DIAC of where they
where they live.
live and when they change
 DIAC approval is required to
address
move between states in the
 BVE holders have no
first 6 weeks after being
access to public housing so
released from detention
use private rental market
 In many cases BVE holders
live with family or friends in
overcrowded circumstances
 BVE holders are eligible for
DHS transitional
emergency accommodation
Review
 Some asylum seekers are  Typically BVE holders are
released from detention
men on their own.
facilities on a BVE
 BVE holders receive 6
(Bridging Visa E).
weeks financial support
 These people live in the
through the Transitional
community following
Community Assistance
health, security and
Support scheme
identity checks.
 After a six week period
people are reliant on finding
housing in the private rental
market unless assisted by
CAS/ASAS.
Health screen on Christmas Island
Provider: International Health and Medical
Services (IHMS)
 Screened for TB and other
serious illness immediately
on arrival
 Chest X rays
 Initial Health Assessment
 Mental Health Assessment





Child Health Assessment
Well women’s check
Antenatal care
Dental care
No further medical tests
unless requested by client
People may be transferred to another
Immigration Detention Facility and health issues
followed up as they arise.
Health Discharge Summary
from health service at detention facility
 Health summary provided to
 Fitness to travel is
clients, Red Cross and
completed
AMES in large white
 Advice given to client on
envelope
ongoing /post-arrival health
 Explanation in their own
care needs when they
language of the importance
leave immigration
of documents
detention
Bridging Visa E/OCt 2012
Transfer of health information
for people with mental health issues
• Especially relevant for people who are on - anti–
depressants, anti-anxiety meds, sleeping tablets and
pain killers.
• Information on medical condition contained in health
summary.
• Client should be given up to 14 days medication on
departure from detention.
Bridging Visa E/OCt 2012
Health Telephone Support Line
• IHMS 24 hour telephone hotline called the Community
Detention Assistance Desk (CDAD).
• Queries about BVE client’s health discharge and
transitional information can be directed to the CDAD
desk.
• The CDAD is staffed by IHMS admin staff as well as
clinicians (nurses and doctors)
Community Detention Assistance Desk
Phone:
1800 725 518 case workers
1800 689 295 health professionals
Fax: (02) 9086 9875
Email: [email protected]
On arrival in Victoria
 Basic health orientation by Red Cross and AMES on
arrival in Melbourne
 In some areas a more extensive health triage and
referral process in place by health professionals
- Health orientation talk by health professionals
- Initial triage and referral
- Case work support to follow up appointments
provided by Red Cross and AMES
Access to health services
for BVE holders
• Medicare eligible regardless • Specialist health care of protection visa process
some clients eligible under
ASAS and CAS program for
• Access to Victorian
further assistance
Department of Health
funded public health
• Clients recommended to
services
carry their interim Medicare
cards with them at all times
• All BVE holders informed of
their eligibility
• Pharmaceuticals –
reimbursement to rate of
Health Care Card holders (if
they are receiving ASAS
and CAS)
Health Services which BVE
holders can access









Hospitals
Ambulance
Primary and Community Health
General Practice
Immunisation services
Drug and Alcohol
Pharmaceuticals
Mental Health
Torture and trauma counselling
services
 Aged Support services
 Aids and equipment
 Sexual health services
Other services
Dental
Free access to public Dental services . Asylum
seekers who are BVE holders recognised as a
priority population as documented by DH
policy. Do not require a healthcare card
Optometry
Free access to public optometry services. The
Australian College of Optometry (ACO). Cost
for glasses?
Recently ACO will provide free testing to
people WITHOUT Medicare card.
Allied
Health
Allied Health services based in community
health, CH Fee policy applies. Fees can be
waivered according to client’s financial
circumstances. Have priority access
Bridging Visa E
Overview of access and rights
Work rights
NO – those who arrived after 13 Aug 2012
YES – those who arrived prior to 13 Aug 2012
Medicare eligibility
YES
Provision of
Pharmaceuticals
YES – ASAS and CAS will reimburse to health
care card level.
NO – if not receiving ASAS or CAS
Torture and Trauma
Counselling
YES
Housing
Initial transitional housing for 6 weeks and then
assistance to find private rental.
Financial
No Centrelink.
If eligible for CAS or ASAS income support
equivalent to 89% of Centrelink payment.
Other Health Supports
• Refugee Health Nurses in Community Health Services
can provide support for assessment and referral.
• Refugee Health Fellows can provide clinical advice and
training for health services.
• Specialist Hospital services. GP referral only.
• Foundation House torture and trauma counseling
• All details on:
www.refugeehealthnetwork.org.au
Health pathway
for people on Bridging Visa E
Detention Centre
Health
Primary
Health
summaries
health
checks on
provided by
services in
arrival at
IHMS to
detention
Christmas
clients,
on request
Island
Red Cross
from client
or AMES
In the community
Health
assessment
& care by
GP &
Refugee
Health
Nurse in
community
Medicare
eligible
•Follow up as
required
•Primary health
•Specialist
health
•Mental health
•Torture and
Trauma
counselling
•Sexual health
•Vision
•Oral health
Extra resources
Asylum Explained; Asylum Centre Resource Centre
http://www.asylumexplained.asrc.org.au/?page_id=916
Victorian Refugee Health Network
http://www.refugeehealtnetwork.org.au
Asylum Seeker fact sheet; Victorian Refugee Health Network
website
http://www.ergpa.com.au/images/_uploads/20120622_fas_asy
lum_seeker_final.pdf
Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme (ASAS); Australian Red
Cross
http://www.redcross.org.au/asylum-seeker-assistancescheme.aspx
Community Assistance Support (CAS); Australian Red Cross
http://www.redcross.org.au/files/20120816_CAS_FACTSHEE
T.pdf
Extra resources contd
Community Assistance Support;(CAS) Transitional Support;
Australian Red Cross
http://www.redcross.org.au/files/20120816_CAST_FACTSH
EET.pdf
Asylum Seeker Dental access policy ;Department of Health
http://www.health.vic.gov.au/dentistry/downloads/eligibility_p
riority_access_policy.pdf
Refugee Oral Health Fact sheet ; Victorian Refugee Health
Network website
http//www.refugeehealthnetwotk.org.au
DIAC; Boat Arrivals information
http://www.immi.gov.au/ima/
Promoting Refugee Health Guide , Victorian Refugee Health
Network website
http://www.refugeehealthnetwork.org.au
Glossary
Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme
ASAS
Adult Multicultural Education Services AMES
Bridging Visa E
Christmas Island
BVE
CI
Community Assistance Support
Commonwealth Department of
Immigration and Citizenship
Community Detention Services
CAS
DIAC
Community Detention
Irregular Maritime Arrivals
Permanent Protection Visa
Special Humanitarian Program
CDSP
CD
IMA
PPV
SHP
All care has been taken to ensure that the information in this
presentation is correct (as at Feb 2013). If any errors are identified or
you have other queries please contact
[email protected]

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