IN just under two years, volunteer students and alumni from Murdoch University’s School of Law have helped more than 200 asylum-seekers successfully navigate Australia’s refugee visa application process.
The Legacy Clinic runs at Murdoch University on Monday evenings and provides clients with legal advice and assistance to fill out visa application forms.
The clinic is led by legal practitioner and senior lecturer Anna Copeland, who said recent announcements on refugee policy, which could mean asylum-seekers are deported if they do not apply for a temporary protection visa by October, made the work of the volunteers even more important.
“Asylum-seekers are not allowed to make these applications for a certain time period,” Ms Copeland said.
“When they are permitted, the application process is very difficult and arduous.”
“There is no legal or interpretation assistance provided by the government, despite the complexity of the forms, which feature more than 100 questions, and they can only be filled out in English.
“Once the processing is begun, the forms must be submitted very quickly, so it has been a big job to get enough volunteers to assist these clients.”