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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

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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
    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
    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
    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
    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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