Muhammad arrived to Australia from the Middle East as an Asylum Seeker around five years ago.
Due to a number of legislative changes and long waiting lists, he’s still awaiting a hearing for his VISA. He’s been on bridging visas since he first in the MIA.
He says the trip was dangerous, one he wouldn’t have made unless it was absolutely necessary.
”My home country is a war torn country,” he said.
“It’s very dangerous for me. It’s a very dangerous journey and it’s so hard to get here. I would not take this risk for my life if there was a choice.”
While he cannot show his face for legal reasons, Mohummad wants to tell his story.
“Unfortunately it’s five or six years I’ve been living in Australia. I’ve been living in a very uncertain situation,” he said.
Unable to receive benefits, Muhammad has tried his hardest to find work – even holding down a job for a while – unfortunately a lack of public transport in regional and rural areas can make finding work a little difficult.
He’s not just working to feed himself. Muhummad takes care of his widowed mother and siblings, who were also forced to flee their home country.
They now live elsewhere.
“Personally, I have a lot of problems with my family. My mother is not well. It’s a difficult situation,” he said.
He says the stress of a long wait for a visa has also had an impact on his mental health.
“I applied for the visa, unfortunately we still don’t know. It affects my mental health. When I came there were people saying to live in a rural area had a positive impact on a visa application,” he said.
“Unfortunately we have not seen that.”
For refugee week this week, he wants everyday Australians to know what goes on.
“I want to reach out and tell people we have experienced a lot of trouble and problems along the way, as well as now and these circumstances,” he said.
“I want people to hear my story.”
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.