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It may be “efficient” but is it just: the new character cancellation mode pursuant to s501

As can be seen in the figures the Minister has been hard at work cancelling those he finds undesirable: in 2015, according to figures released by the department of immigration, a record 580 people had their visas cancelled on character grounds. Given Immigration Minister Peter Dutton now has greater powers to cancel visas and has been using them to deport more non-citizens the number of cancellations has been steadily rising.

Under the new laws, the minister no longer looks at family ties or length of residency inter alia when making the cancellation decision. And as his statement shows his policy position is clear:

“My message to the minority of people who travel to Australia and violate community standards is that they should consider themselves on notice; we will continue to target you by cancelling your visa and will remove you from Australia as soon as possible.” Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton.

The question is it fair?  Can Australia in good conscience deport a person for all intents and purposes is an “Australian” merely because they have a string of minor offences that when added up reach a certain “trigger” amount – here 12 months.

Is it fair that a person who has lived in this country for all his life but for a few year – at the age when most are contemplating retirement after a life time of paying taxes and raising children: of building the Australian dream; he is facing removal from his country, his kith and kin. And yet this is happening at an ever increasing rate and looks like continuing based on the Ministers recent statements:

Speaking to the The Daily Telegraph, the minister said, “I don’t believe people think for a moment somebody who’s here as a guest in our country, who has murdered somebody or committed a sexual offence, that they should remain in our society. “We’ve made a record number of cancellations in ­recent months,’’ he said.

Mr Dutton said Australia remained a welcoming nation for foreign visitors but he made no apology for a zero-tolerance approach to criminals.

If you or anyone you know is subject to cancellation on character grounds or is applying for a visa or if you have had a  visa refused for FRAUD or any other reason please speak to one of the lawyers at our office for thorough advice on your options.

Call 03 9614 0218 or email to arrange a free initial 30 Minute consultation at our Melbourne office.

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Note: this update, or any previous updates on this page, do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please call our office to seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content on this page