Violent and sexual offenders stripped of Australian visas

More than 800 non-citizen criminals were stripped of their visas for serious crimes in 2018.

One hundred had their visas cancelled for committing child sex offences or for involvement in child exploitation and pornography, 53 were stripped of their visas for domestic violence as were 34 rapists or other sexual offenders

About 500 criminals who committed violent offences are among those stripped of their visas, including 13 for murder, seven for manslaughter, 125 for assault and 56 for armed robbery.

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said the Government is committed to protecting our communities and keeping Australians safe.

“There’s no place in our country for people who come here and harm Australians,” Mr Dutton said

“We welcome people from all round the world, but those few who think they can live in Australia and be involved in criminal actions need to know they won’t be staying long.”

Under the previous Labor Government, in the five years between 2009 and 2013, just 582 visas were cancelled under the character provisions in s 501 of Migration Act 1958.

Since 2014, the Coalition has cancelled a total of 4150 visas – more than seven times that of Labor.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the Government was sending a strong message to non-citizen law breakers.

“Over the past five years, the Government has stripped 4150 non-citizens of their visas after committing serious and abhorrent crimes such as child sex offences, domestic violence assaults and murder,” Mr Coleman said.

“Foreign nationals who think they can flout our laws and harm Australian citizens should expect to have their visa cancelled.

“It is a privilege to enter and remain in Australia and we have no tolerance for those who put Australians in danger.”

To keep Australians safe, the Government has significantly strengthened the character provisions in the Migration Act, introducing mandatory cancellation provisions in December 2014. These changes provide that a non-citizen’s visa must be cancelled if they are sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment or have been convicted of a sexual crime against a child.

More recently, the Government introduced into Parliament the Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2018 to introduce a list of designated offences into s 501, providing clear and objective grounds for the consideration of visa refusal or cancellation.

Designated offences include offences involving violence, sexual assault, domestic abuse and the use or possession of weapons, whereby the offence carries a two year or more maximum jail sentence.

The Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2018 is expected to be debated in the first sitting period of 2019.

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