Australia

Australia getting tough on criminal visa holders

by Ray Clancy on February 15, 2017

in Australia

Tougher rules in Australia mean that more than 1,000 foreign nationals who committed crimes were stripped of their visas in 2016 and removed from the country.

With American immigration policy under scrutiny at present and the UK also wanting to limit immigration when it leaves the European Union, Australia is also getting tougher.

Under strengthened provisions of section 501 of the Migration Act the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has more powers to remove those who get involved in crime.

Dutton said Australia welcomed millions of visitors on short and long term visas each year and the overwhelming majority abided by the law and enjoyed holidaying or residing in Australia and being part of the Australian community.

‘Unfortunately there is a small minority who involve themselves in criminal acts. We strengthened section 501 of the Migration Act in 2014 to deal with these serious lawbreakers and since then have cancelled the visas of more than 2000 non-citizens, this includes 138 members of criminal bikie gangs,’ said Dutton.

He confirmed that in 2016 there were 359 visa cancellations in New South Wales, 301 in Queensland, 173 in Victoria, 168 in Western Australia, 41 in South Australia, seven in the Northern Territory, four in the ACT and three in Tasmania.

They included those convicted of murder, manslaughter, sexual offences against children, violent crimes such as assault and grievous bodily harm, armed robbery, serious drug offences, kidnapping, people smuggling and for involvement in organized crime.

Dutton said that the Government is determined to do all it could to protect the Australian community. ‘Foreign nationals who think they can flout our laws, harm our citizens or commit terrible crimes should get a clear message,’ he pointed out.

‘Your ability to remain in Australia will be removed; we will cancel your visa and get rid of you from our country,’ he added.

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