The Federal Government has introduced the Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2018 (Cth) (‘the Bill’) on 25 October 2018. This Bill aims to make changes to the character test for prospective migrants to Australia for the purpose of ensuring increased safety to Australian citizens.
The provisions of this Bill contain grounds related to visa refusal or visa cancellation for non-citizens who have committed serious offences. The Bill proposes to make the following changes:
According to aissued by the Department of Home Affairs, the following designated offences are proposed to be inserted into the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) as part of the amendments:
These offences are proposed to be inserted into the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) to constitute grounds for visa cancellation or refusal under the Bill.
In his second reading speech in the House of Representatives, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman stated that there was currently a gap in relation to the current character test. He said:
Mr Coleman noted that the bill was based on a report by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration titled ‘’. This report made the following statement:
On this issue, Mr Coleman stated that strengthening the character test provided a clear ground for consideration of cancellation of a visa or refusal to grant a visa on a discretionary basis:
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Migration (Strengthening Character Test) Bill 2018 (Cth), and associated second reading speech and explanatory memorandum, as published on TimeBase LawOne.
[media release] The Hon David Coleman MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, ‘’, 25 October 2018.
[committee report] Joint Standing Committee on Migration, Inquiry into Migration Settlement Outcomes, '', December 2017.
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