A GROUP of asylum seekers has claimed they've been "forgotten" in their quest for permanent residency in Australia.
The 12 'Tamworthians' sought asylum in the country more than 10 years ago, and have written to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to see what he can do to fast-track the progress of their visa requests.
"We have not seen our families since we arrived in Australia. We all long to be reunited with our families who are in Bangladesh and are also facing their own persecution as they are not wanted there," their letter read.
"Our families are aching for us to be united again and be a normal family."
Originally from Myanmar and Bangladesh, some of the refugees are on Safe Haven Enterprise Visas, others are on Temporary Protection Visas and one is on a Bridging Visa.
They all work in the region, mostly at the meat works, and have done so throughout their time in the country.
The letter stated that the refugees looked forward to life in Australia, but the decision for that to happen was in "Australia's hands".
"We do not ask much from Australia, please just give us a new home, a good home. Australia has been good to us; here we can build our dreams," it read.
Multicultural Tamworth's Eddie Whitham has been helping the refugees settle into their surroundings.
He's disappointed they haven't been given their permanent residency yet.
"As they've settled in really well, why move them? Why can't they have their families or visit their families?" he said.
"Most of them have got families, but they've all got away hoping to get a better life, and it didn't work out like that, but right now they're shoring up the places we need them to work, and they're doing the jobs that most Aussies don't seem to want to do.
"I just think if the government would say 'okay they can get on with their life', then they'll buy houses, become citizens."
He said he would be putting the pressure on the federal government to have something done about the issue.
"I'm sending out [the letter] to different organisations like the Refugee Council of Australia to see if they will push for it," he said.
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