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  • Is Australia any closer to returning failed asylum seekers to Iran?

    Posted 30/04/2015 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Australian Customs Vessel ACV30 Botany Bay returns to Stokes Hill Wharf
    Ken Hodge [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
    On 18 April 2015, Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, travelled to Iran to discuss the involuntary return of Iranian nationals who have unsuccessfully sought asylum in Australia. Though her visit was touted as being significant because she was the first Australian Minister to visit Iran in 12 years, it appears on the issue of returnees, her visit did no more than pave the way for further discussions on the issue—and at a lower level.  However, discussions between the two... Read more...

    TAGS: Refugees, asylum, immigration

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  • High Court validates maritime interception powers but watch this space!

    Posted 12/02/2015 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Australian Customs Vessel ACV30 Botany Bay returns to Stokes Hill Wharf
    Ken Hodge [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
    On the 28 January 2015, the High Court delivered its much anticipated judgment on the scope and extent of Australia’s maritime interception powers. The Court held, by a majority (4:3) that the detention of a Sri Lankan asylum seeker intercepted en route to Australia with another 156 passengers was lawful under the Maritime Powers Act 2013 (the MPA). In doing so, their Honours also confirmed that the asylum seekers were not entitled to be consulted as to the desirability or otherwise of the... Read more...

    TAGS: Refugees, asylum, immigration

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  • Developments in refugee law and policy: 2014 in review

    Posted 8/01/2015 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Refugee
    ZouZou/shutterstock.com
    On a global level, 2014 may well be remembered as the year the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people exceeded 50 million people for the first time in the post-World War II era. However, in Australia 2014 will most likely be remembered as the year the boats stopped. That is not to say that boats carrying asylum seekers stopped attempting to reach Australia—rather, there were considerably fewer attempts made and those that did, were all (except one) redirected el... Read more...

    TAGS: Refugees, asylum, immigration

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  • Minister reports to Parliament on processing arrangements in Nauru and PNG for 2013—14

    Posted 8/12/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Parliament House in Canberra
    On 4 December 2014, the last scheduled parliamentary sitting day for the year, a report was tabled in Parliament on the regional processing arrangements for unauthorised maritime arrivals. The Minister’s report covers arrangements made during the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. The statutory obligation to produce such a report comes from section 198AJ of the Migration Act which was inserted by the former Government to give effect to a recommendation of the Senate Legal and Constitution... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, refugees, immigration

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  • Permanent residency for Safe Haven Enterprise Visa holders?

    Posted 28/11/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    On 25 September 2014, the Government announced that it would be creating a new temporary protection visa, to be known as a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) which would be available to refugees that had arrived by boat prior to the commencement of the regional processing regime announced by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in July 2013. Though the visa criteria are yet to be finalised, the SHEV is expected to be valid for five years and is specifically designed to encourage refugees to move to r... Read more...

    TAGS: refugees, asylum, immigration

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  • Australia's refugee population: A statistical snapshot of 2013-14

    Posted 28/11/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Statistics recently published by the Immigration Department reveal that during the 2013—14 financial year, some 6,500 visas were granted to refugees abroad who had applied to be resettled to Australia. The majority of these people originally fled persecution from countries such as Afghanistan (2530), Myanmar (1145), and Iraq (830). The Department also granted 300 refugee category visas to Syrian nationals. Though the Department’s statistics do not indicate where these people were re... Read more...

    TAGS: refugees, asylum, immigration

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  • Repeal of certain family visas

    Posted 18/07/2014 by Harriet Spinks

    In the 2014-15 Budget, the Government announced its intention to repeal six family stream visa categories–the Parent visa (subclass 103), Aged Parent visa (subclass 804), Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclasses 114 and 838), Remaining Relative visa (subclasses 115 and 835) and Carer visa (subclasses 116 and 836). An amendment to the Migration Regulations giving effect to this move was tabled in the House of Representatives on 2 June and in the Senate on 16 June. The regulation permanently closed the relevant visas classes to new applications as of 2 June 2014, but applications which were submitted prior to this date will remain in the queue and continue to be processed. An attempt by the Opposition to disallow the regulation was unsuccessful in the lower house, but a disallowance motion by the Australian Greens remains on the table in the Senate.

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    TAGS: immigration

    Comments (2)
  • High Court strikes down Minister's decision to cap permanent visas for refugees

    Posted 25/06/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    On 20 June 2014 the High Court unanimously upheld separate challenges by two asylum seekers who questioned the ability of the Minister to limit or cap the number of protection visas that can be granted. On 4 March 2014 Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, made a determination limiting the number of permanent protection visas that could be granted during the 2013/14 financial year. The limit of 2773 was reached only three weeks after the cap had been set. The principle question before the Court ... Read more...

    TAGS: Refugees, asylum, High Court, immigration

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  • Temporary Protection by hook or by crook

    Posted 5/03/2014 by Elibritt Karlsen
    The Coalition has consistently argued for the reintroduction of Temporary Protection Visas (or TPVs as they are more commonly known) because it considers them to be an essential component of its border protection arsenal to deter asylum seekers from trying to enter Australia by boat. When in Opposition in early 2013, the Coalition unsuccessfully introduced legislation to try to reintroduce TPVs. When they formed Government six months later, the domestic landscape had changed significantly. Some ... Read more...

    TAGS: refugees, asylum seekers, immigration

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  • Lost in translation: resettling locally engaged Afghan staff

    Posted 20/12/2013 by David Watt
    Recent media reports indicate that the Taliban have killed an Afghan man who had worked as an interpreter for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Afghanistan. With the bulk of ADF personnel being withdrawn from Uruzgan, this provides a reminder of the dangers to Afghan nationals who have worked for Australian government agencies as locally engaged staff and again raises the question of what the Government is doing to assist.What Australia should and could do for such people has been discussed ... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, immigration

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