Australian likely to take tougher stance on visas for refugees

by Ray Clancy on May 17, 2017

in Australia Immigration

The Australian Government has signalled that it will get tough with refugees given visas who then return for visits to the country where they have claimed they would be persecuted.

They could be deported if they have fled for safety and security reasons but then return for holidays and family events such as weddings.

(Markus Mainka/Bigstock.com)

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has revealed that he cancelled visas for six Iranians who returned to their homeland after claiming it was unsafe to do so but his decision was overturned on appeal.

He reiterated that being granted a visa for Australia is a privilege and refuges should respect that along with all other visa holders. He also said that those who take holidays in countries where they claimed to fear persecution can expect to have their visas taken away.

In the case mentioned by the Minister, all six were allowed to stay in Australia after they successfully appealed to a court that hears public complaints about Government decisions.

‘If you’re claiming that you came to our country to flee persecution from country X, and then you’re heading back there to get married or heading back there for a family vacation, then really there is no validity to your claim,’ Dutton told Adelaide Radio FiveAA.

It comes as reports indicate that one Iranian claimed to have been on an Iranian wanted list and who fled that country on a fake passport and was accepted as a refugee then applied for an Iranian passport and used it to fly back to his homeland.

Another Iranian returned to Iran three times after becoming a refugee in Australia, once to marry, and an Iranian couple claimed in their protection visa application that they had no identity documents, but later returned to Iran on Iranian passports.

Dutton’s office confirmed that the newspaper reports of the six Iranians’ circumstances were accurate. They paid smugglers to bring them from Indonesia to Australia before the Government introduced a tough policy in 2013 that prevents any refugees who arrive by boat from ever settling in Australia.

However, The Refugee Council of Australia, warned against a tough stance without checking the circumstances of refugees and said that certain safeguards are needed to ensure that rejected asylum seekers were not returned to danger or death.

‘The vast majority of people who have arrived in Australia have been found to have a well-founded fear of persecution and have proven to be refugees, over the last 40 years this number is in excess of 80%, said Paul Power, the council’s chief executive.

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