Changes to Minister’s powers to cancel or refuse visas
The Immigration Minister has been granted new broad powers to cancel or refuse visas.
The first bill was passed in Parliament last week which meant that Mr Morrison could deny a visa if there was a “reasonable suspicion,” but not necessarily a conviction of a crime. This would make it easier for the Immigration Minister to cancel or refuse visa without review.
The amendment to the Migration Act broadened the existing grounds for not passing a character test and lowered the threshold for the cancellation of temporary visas for non-citizens.
There are two other bills, relating to citizenship and refugees which are yet to pass through the senate.
The bill would reintroduce temporary protection visas, “fast-track” refugee processing and remove the right to appeal, handing the minister the final decision on many cases. It would allow detained asylum seekers or boats to be forcibly removed and sent to anywhere in the world, regardless of domestic or international law. It would seek to prevent protection claims by asylum seeker children who were born in Australia, and would also shield the government from claims of human rights breaches under the United Nations refugee convention by narrowly interpreting Australia’s obligations and redefining who is eligible for refugee status, as well as preventing legal challenges over boat turn-backs.
To be continued…