Australian immigration law has seen some changes recently, and one of them is a tighter provision on the ‘character test’ aspect of Australian visa qualifications.
Under Australian immigration law, visa applicants must pass the character test which includes police and background checks to ensure that they possess no criminal tendencies and can be safely allowed into the country.
A new inclusion to the law has made regulations a bit more strict. This post will give you the lowdown so that you can be better informed.
What are the new changes to Australian immigration law?
The new law states that if anyone has served a prison sentence of over 12 months in duration, they are considered to have failed the character test. This means the government then has the power and ability to revoke their visas and deport them back to their country of origin.
The law itself has been around since the second world war, but the 12-month sentence provision is newly introduced. Previous regulations were based more on the severity of the crime than on the length of the sentence.
An example of the new law in practice is the case of Ian Wightman, a 51 year old man originally from the UK.
- He has been in Australia for 50 of those 51 years, and his partner is an Australian citizen.
- He was convicted and served 15 months on the charge of lighting a bushfire.
- As a result of the new, more strict immigration law, he faces possible cancellation of his visa and subsequent deportation.
There are many more instances in which this new law has been enforced, and there will probably be a lot more going forward. With any new law, there are usually some kinks that need to be worked out, and there are always cases where a law might get called into question.
Still, this law does allow for better means to catch certain offenders that might have escaped deportation under the previous laws. Basing visa cancellation and deportation on length of sentence could be a bigger benefit to Australia’s safety and security than the older laws ever were. Only time will tell for sure.
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