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Fingers crossed: Bumbling minister takes another swing at Visa cancellation laws

An overhaul of a controversial immigration direction has been signed off in a bid to prioritise community safety.

Jun 07, 2024, updated Jun 07, 2024
Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles responds at a press conference to the Nixon Report into migration at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, October 4, 2023. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles responds at a press conference to the Nixon Report into migration at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, October 4, 2023. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Direction 99, which prioritised a foreign national’s ties with Australia when making visa decisions, has been revoked with a new measure – direction 110 – to come into effect from June 21.

Direction 110 will give greater weight to community safety when appeals tribunals make decisions on visa cancellations.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles had come under pressure after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal overturned several visa decisions due to direction 99, despite foreign nationals in the cases being found guilty of serious crimes.

“The new revised direction will make crystal clear that the Australian government expects community protection to be given greater weight when it comes to visa decisions,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.

“It also elevates the impact on victims of family violence and their families into one of the existing primary considerations.”

Mr Giles said there were still 10 cases before the appeals tribunal that would be considered under the existing direction 99.

The minister said he would monitor the cases closely should the tribunal decide to reinstate cancelled visas.

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“Where appropriate, I’ll consider cancellation of any visas granted back in the national interest,” he said.

Direction 99 was created after concern from the New Zealand government that too many Kiwis were being deported, despite having no ties with the nation.

New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon had expressed concern with the federal government’s decision to overhaul direction 99.

“We need to give a clear signal to decision makers that decisions should be made based on common sense and the protection of the Australian community. That’s what the direction is about,” Mr Giles said.

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