For more than a decade, Mahdi Azizi and his family have been living in limbo. The 40-year-old came from Iran to Australia by boat in early 2013 and has been living on bridging visas in the hope of one day securing permanent residency in a country where he says he feels safe.
Mr Azizi says as a Christian, returning to Iran would be dangerous.
"In Iran, if you're not [Muslim], they'll send you to jail, maybe forever. Maybe they kill you," he said.
Mr Azizi is among 12,000 asylum seekers on temporary bridging visas calling for the government to grant them permanent residency. He and hundreds of others gathered in front of Parliament House on Tuesday to take their message to the government.
Labor has promised a pathway to permanent residency for 19,000 refugees on temporary protection visas and safe haven enterprise visas, but another 12,000 refugees who were subject to the former Coalition government 'fast track' process still have no pathway to permanent residency.
The scheme was set up to quickly resolve the applications of tens of thousands of asylum seekers who arrived by boat between 2012 and 2014 and weren't subject to offshore detention.
But refugee support groups, including the Australian Refugee Action Network, say a fair review process was scrapped under the scheme, which also had "very short timeframes for lodging applications".
Speaking at the rally, Greens Senator Nick McKim said more than 10,000 people "never got a fair go" under the fast track assessment process.
"It was designed for people to fail and this government, the new government, has a responsibility to fix that process and give everyone who was impacted by that process, a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship in this country," he said.
Earlier this month, the Federal government announced a raft of measures to crack down on visa exploitation and establish a "more efficient" system "for those genuinely in need of Australia's protection".
This includes a $58 million boost for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia to increase their capacity "to deal with significant Protection visa and other migration-related caseloads".
On Tuesday, Tamil asylum seeker Thienushan Chandrasekaram rode from Brisbane to Canberra to raise awareness of the plight he and 12,000 others face.
A group of 20 Tamil and Iranian women are also walking from Immigration Minister Andrew Giles' office in Melbourne to Canberra and are expected to complete their journey on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Mr Azizi told The Canberra Times he fears what the future holds for his wife and two Australian-born children.
"They got no future and they love this country," he said.