Clive Palmer’s party has agreed to back the reintroduction of temporary protection visas – provided asylum seekers get work rights.
Asylum seekers will be allowed to move to a regional area with a labour shortage.
Negotiations between Clive Palmer and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison have produced a new Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV), valid for five years.
Mr Palmer said his humane alternative to detention would boost regional economies, enable people to contribute to Australian society and help save taxpayers billions.
“It’s a game changer for our country,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Thursday.
Visa holders would be able to apply for other visas to stay in Australia if they abstained from social security benefits for more than 18 months, the Palmer United Party leader said.
The new visas would also prevent detainees on Christmas Island, including children, from being sent to Nauru or Manus Island for processing, he added.
But he denied his party’s support for temporary protection visas, to enable the SHEV, was part of a deal that would affect the passage through the Senate of other legislation and budget measures.
“It has nothing to do with anything else,” he said.
SHEV holders would have work rights, access to employment services, Medicare, trauma counselling, translation services and education for their school-aged children.