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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

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  • 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
    Image source: Department of Defence
    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

    Comments (1)
  • Abolishing free legal advice to asylum seekers — who really pays?

    Posted 27/11/2013 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Image source: unhcr.org
    One week before the 2013 federal election, the Coalition announced that, if elected, it would no longer provide funding for free legal advice to asylum seekers who have arrived without a valid visa. The primary concern for the Coalition was clearly the increasing cost of providing this service. However, one month prior to the Coalition’s announcement, the Government had entered into a regional resettlement arrangement with Papua New Guinea which meant all future boat arrivals would be processed ... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, immigration, refugees

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  • A return to Temporary Protection Visas?

    Posted 18/11/2013 by Harriet Spinks
    Image source: Australian Human Rights Commission
    On 18 October 2013 the newly elected Coalition Government registered an amendment to the Migration Regulations 1994 providing for the re-introduction of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). Unsurprisingly, given their vocal opposition to TPVs, the Australian Greens have moved to disallow the Regulation. This FlagPost provides an historical overview of the TPV, and outlines the arrangements that will be in place should the new TPV system withstand the disallowance motion.The TPV was first introduce... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, immigration, refugees

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  • Immigration: We can choose our skills, but we can't choose our family

    Posted 13/11/2013 by Gareth Larsen
    Picture source: DIBP
    Whilst boat arrivals, asylum seekers, skilled permanent and temporary programs and even students have kept immigration featured in our politics and newspapers, family migration receives little share of public debate. This is intriguing as family migration is a bigger part of permanent migration than official planning levels would lead us to believe. Migration Program planning levels fluctuate according to the political, social and economic imperatives of the government of the day. In the mid-197... Read more...

    TAGS: family assistance, immigration, planning, skilled migration

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  • Measuring success in skilled migration policy: the subclass 457 visa program

    Posted 11/09/2013 by Gareth Larsen
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    With the unemployment rate edging higher over the past year, and against a backdrop of high OECD unemployment, jobs will continue to be a focus over the next term of Government. A new report by Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research reveals that recently arrived migrants are dominating the growth in the number of employed persons in Australia. It also points to local young workers being adversely affected by the competition for employment, with a global pool of ‘job hungry... Read more...

    TAGS: immigration, labour force, skilled migration

    Comments (4)
  • Asylum seekers and refugees—how will they be affected by this year’s Budget?

    Posted 10/05/2013 by Janet Phillips
    It is expected that there will be several items in this year’s Budget directly affecting asylum seekers and refugees, some of which will require significant increases in expenditure. In particular, funding associated with the cost of intercepting and detaining irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs) is likely to increase significantly. However, other recent Government announcements affecting asylum seekers and refugees will also require additional funding—most notably the Government’s decision to inc... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, immigration, refugees

    Comments (0)
  • Asylum seekers, refugees and people smuggling—links to the key Parliamentary Library papers

    Posted 15/03/2013 by Janet Phillips
    The Parliamentary Library has recently released several new and updated papers on asylum seekers, refugees, boat arrivals and people smuggling. Links to these papers are included below together with links to other research papers in related areas.  New C Barker, The people smuggler’s business model, 2013 H Spinks, Destination anywhere? Factors affecting asylum seekers’ choice of destination country, 2013 J Phillips, The ‘Pacific Solution’ revisited: a statistical guide to the asylum seeker casel... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, detention, immigration, multiculturalism, people smuggling, refugees

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