21 May, 2015
The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that people who travel or migrate to Australia abide by nation’s laws and community standards and is warning those who don’t that they risk visa cancellation and removal from Australia.
Four hundred and fifty visas have been cancelled and 100 visa applications refused under character provisions in the Migration Act since 1 July 2014 to this month.
Compared with the previous year this represents an increase of over 450 per cent in visa cancellations and an increase of over 40 per cent in visa refusal decisions.
In the same period, of the 450 visas cancelled, 34 removals have taken place from New South Wales, with Western Australia (13), Victoria (11) and Queensland (10) together accounting for another 34 removals.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said these actions prove the Government is serious about protecting Australians from foreign criminals.
“Since the first of January this year, nine people convicted of sexually based offences involving children have been removed from Australia,” Mr Dutton said.
“They join another six people removed from Australia who were convicted of rape, three convicted of armed robbery, two convicted of kidnapping and one murderer.”
“I know that the overwhelming majority of people who visit or migrate here are honest, law abiding and make a valuable contribution to the fabric of our society; but under this Government people convicted of reprehensible and abhorrent crimes such as these are not welcome here.”
“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.”
“There is no place in Australia for foreign criminals.”
Under changes made by the Australian Government, mandatory visa cancellations can apply to non-citizens convicted of serious crimes like murder, rape, sexual assault and drug crime.