In December 2014, amendments were made to the Migration Act, giving the Minister of Immigration greater power to cancel visas. As a result, the number of visa cancellations in recent months has skyrocketed. In certain situations, a person can face mandatory visa cancellation if they have been convicted of an offence and are serving time in an Australian prison.
In recent months, our office has received a steady flow of enquiries from distraught parents and partners whose loved ones have had their visas cancelled. Most of these clients are currently being held in Immigration Detention. Many a New Zealand citizen has been caught off guard by these provisions, with many not realising they had a visa which could be cancelled.
In defence of the provisions, Minister for Immigration Mr Peter Dutton has staunchly declared:
“Frankly [these criminals] are detracting from the Australian society, not adding to it. They should be removed from our shores as quickly as possible.”