The recent legislative amendments to Section 501 (Character) of the Migration Act 1958 reflect the government’s position that travelling to and remaining in Australia is a privilege not a right and any non-citizen who fails to uphold the behavioural standard expected by the Australian community should expect to be refused entry or have their visa cancelled.
The legislative reforms include an amendment to allow for mandatory visa cancellation without notice for people who are serving a full-time sentence of imprisonment for an offence against the law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory and who objectively fail the Character Test on the following grounds:
- sentenced to imprisonment of 12 months or more;
- sentenced to death;
- sentenced to life imprisonment; or
- have a charge proven for or are found guilty of a sexually based offence involving a child.
Other amendments include several new personal Ministerial cancellation powers to cancel without notice any visa where it is in the public interest to do so.
Any decision made personally by the Minister will not be merits reviewable.
For further information please call Esef Mirascija of our office.