IT’S been revealed more than 220 Commonwealth Games athletes and coaches remain in Australia after overstaying their visas, with taxpayers being left to foot the bill.
Hundreds of athletes, most of them from African nations, disappeared during and after the Games in April this year.
Of those who remain in the country, 220 have applied for protection visas, despite 194 of them already being rejected.
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According to The Courier Mail, all but ten of the athletes have applied to appeal the decision, meaning they could potentially remain in Australia for a number of years.
So far, more than $1 million has already been spent to house and feed the competitors, with legal bills to try and remove them also expected to skyrocket.
In May, the Australian Border Force confirmed they were establishing a “dedicated operation to ensure those that should depart Australia do so.”
“While the vast majority of individuals who came to Australia for the Commonwealth Games have already departed, the Australia Border Force is aware that some individuals have remained in Australia,” the ABF said.
“Some individuals have already applied for other visas. Those cases will be rigorously assessed in line with standard processes.
“For those who attempt to remain in the community without engaging with authorities, they should be aware that anyone in Australia without a valid visa will be subject to enforcement measures aimed at locating, detaining and removing them from Australia.”
Taxpayers have forked out more than $1 million to pay for the Comm Games athletes who refuse to leave Australia. pic.twitter.com/Q5a6ajmiD7
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) October 30, 2018