Afghan support visas to be reviewed

The government will review the priority visas given to locally employed Afghans who helped Australia during two decades of war.

The program was established a decade ago and has supported more than 2300 Afghans and their families to settle in Australia.

The Albanese government accused the former government of failing to implement the program effectively.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia had a moral obligation to help Afghans who supported its soldiers.

She said those who helped Western soldiers remain in danger after the insurgent Taliban seized back control of the capital Kabul last year.

"We know that those attempting to leave Afghanistan face a very difficult set of circumstances, not least because border crossings out of the country are difficult and dangerous," Senator Wong said.

"We are focused on doing everything we can to assist those people whose safety is at risk."

Defence Minister Richard Marles said the review would provide Australian troops with confidence that those who assisted them would not be left behind.

"Our current and former ADF personnel have been clear about the painful impact of leaving people behind in Afghanistan," he said.

The review will be led by former security and intelligence inspector-general Dr Vivienne Thom.

It will consider how decisions were made, including appeals and record-keeping, as well as the legislation that underpins the program.

The review will be completed early next year.