The inquiry into the review processes associated with visa cancellations made on criminal grounds
On 14 March 2018, the Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Peter Dutton MP asked the Joint Standing Committee on Migration to inquire into and report on the review processes associated with visa cancellations made on criminal grounds.In conducting its inquiry, the Committee was required to have particular regard to:
- The efficiency of existing review processes as they relate to decisions made under section 501 of the Migration Act.
- Present levels of duplication associated with the merits review process.
- The scope of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal’s jurisdiction to review ministerial decisions.
RCOA has expressed its grave concerns relating to visa cancellations several times, especially since the introduction of legislation in 2014 that greatly increased the scope and effect of visa cancellations. As part of its work, RCOA helped form a Working Group on Visa Cancellations, which includes a broader range of stakeholders including migration agents, lawyers, and community groups and advocates. We have participated in the drafting of its separate submission and endorse its contents and recommendations.
In this submission, we wish to highlight the particular effect of visa cancellations made on criminal grounds on people who need our protection. This includes people on refugee, protection or humanitarian visas, and those who may be on other visas but have grounds to fear persecution upon return to their country of origin.