The Department of Foreign Affairs sent notification to the group of more than 100 sub-contractors who looked after the Australian embassy in Kabul.
A pro-forma rejection letter was emailed to the men on Friday to inform them they were ‘not eligible for certification’ under the At Risk Afghan Employees Visa Scheme.
Australia has abandoned 100 embassy security guards in Afghanistan to face the brutal Taliban forces alone after claiming the men weren’t direct employees (pictured, a baby is handed over to the American army at Kabul airport)
The government has denied visas for the group of more than 100 men who formerly protected the Australian embassy in Kabul (pictured, Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul)
It is understood one of the reasons they won’t be offered protection in Australia is because they were not directly employed by the embassy, and were instead subcontractors.
The rejection letter thanks its recipients for their application for a visa and says Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne has considered them.
‘Unfortunately, you are not eligible for certification under this visa policy,’ the letter obtained by the ABC read.
The letter states an initial 3,000 humanitarian places will be allocated to Afghan nationals within Australia’s 13,750-person annual program.
‘Particular priority will be given to persecuted minorities, women and children, and those who have links to Australia,’ the letter continues.
The templated response, which used the same file number for each of the 100 men, recommends the contractors continue to investigate their options.
The final line of the letter suggests the men contact a migration agent to ‘discuss these avenues’ and notes their details have been passed on to the Home Affairs Department, which processes the applications.
The ‘mass-produced’ rejection letter thanks its recipients for their application for a visa and says Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne (pictured) has considered them
The rejection letter suggests the embassy security guards contact a migration agent to help gain access to a visa under a humanitarian stream (pictured, people landing in Dubai from Afghanistan August 22)
One of the contractors who was denied a visa told the ABC the entire workforce was shocked to receive the email.
Working for the Australian embassy meant strict security checks and low wages, with some security guards receiving less than $30 a day.
The first warning sign came after the majority of the contractors were fired as foreign troops began to slowly withdraw from Afghanistan.
The mens’ loss of employment may have had an impact on their eligibility for a visa.
Lawyer Glen Kolomeitz who is working pro-bono to evacuate the contractors said the templated letters were ‘a disgrace’.
Mr Kolomeitz and his team of lawyers and ex-military personnel at GAP Veteran and Legal Services have been working tirelessly to help hundreds obtain a visa.
‘This is clearly an attempt by Defence and DFAT to look like they have done their job when they sat on their hands for so long,’ he said.
To work for the Australian embassy meant strict security checks and low wages, with some security guards receiving less than $30 a day (pictured, people onboard the Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster at Kabul Airport)
Lawyer Glen Kolomeitz who is working pro-bono to evacuate the contractors said the templated letters were ‘a disgrace’ (pictured, people boarding the Royal Australian Air Force C-17A at Kabul Airport)
‘These are mass-produced rejection letters and they are entirely unacceptable.’
The attorney threatened a Federal Court challenge to the visa considerations process after hundreds of his clients were rejected.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would tread carefully with its relationship with ex-employees from Afghanistan.
‘There are people who worked with us, people who worked with us five or six years ago, and what they have been doing in that intervening period is an unknown,’ he told the ABC’s Insiders program.
‘We also have to be exercising the appropriate caution, and that’s what we have been doing.’
The Australian Government has defended offering 3,000 humanitarian places to Afghans fleeing the Taliban despite other nations pledging intakes more than six times that figure (pictured, people disembarking a rescue flight from Afghanistan near Dubai)
Meanwhile, in the Brisbane CBD hundreds of protestors took to the city streets to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis unravelling in Afghanistan
Meanwhile, in the Brisbane CBD hundreds of protestors took to the city streets on Sunday to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis unravelling in Afghanistan.
A similar scene was observed in Perth, just hours after it was confirmed that more than 300 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan on four Australian flights overnight.
The Forrest Place rally in Perth saw attendees chanting ‘free, free Afghanistan’ and ‘help the ones who helped you’, after several speeches were made to the crowd.
Early on Friday morning a rescue flight carrying 94 evacuees landed in the West Australian capital, the first since the Taliban seized control in Kabul.
‘These evacuees are a mix of Australians and visa holders, obviously mainly the interpreters and the like that assisted our defence forces in Afghanistan,’ Premier Mark McGowan told state parliament.
‘We’ve been working on this arrangement since Saturday.’
The Australian Government defended offering just 3,000 humanitarian places to Afghans fleeing the Taliban despite other nations pledging intakes more than six times that figure.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said he expected the initial commitment to rise to 5,000 as the situation unfolds in Afghanistan.
Large crowds gathered outside Brisbane Town Hall with protestors wearing the colours of the Afghanistan flag