01 Mar Character: Direction No. 79 Revokes Direction No. 65
Ministerial Direction No. 65 and dated 22 December 2014 has been revoked by the new Ministerial Direction No.79 effective on 28th of February 2019.
Although the new direction was signed on the 20th of December 2018, it has only become available on Legendcom on 28th of February 2019.
The old direction no. 65 attached a great importance to serious crimes committed by non-citizens against children, the elderly and the disabled members of the Australian Community. Direction No. 79 extends that to serious crimes committed against women and conatins the following principles.
(1) Australia has a sovereign right to determine whether non-citizens who are of character concern are allowed to enter and/or remain in Australia. Being able to come to or remain in Australia is a privilege Australia confers on non-citizens in the expectation that they are, and have been, law-abiding, will respect important institutions, such as Australia’s law enforcement framework, and will not cause or threaten harm to individuals or the Australian community.
(2) The Australian community expects that the Australian Government can and should refuse entry to non-citizens, or cancel their visas, if they commit serious crimes in Australia or elsewhere.
(3) A non-citizen who has committed a serious crime, including of a violent or sexual nature, and particularly against women or children or vulnerable members of the community such as the elderly or disabled, should generally expect to be denied the privilege of coming to, or to forfeit the privilege of staying in, Australia.
(4) In some circumstances, criminal offending or other conduct, and the harm that would be caused if it were to be repeated, may be so serious, that any risk of similar conduct in the future is unacceptable. In these circumstances, even other strong countervailing considerations may be insufficient to justify not cancelling or refusing the visa.
(5) Australia has a low tolerance of any criminal or other serious conduct by people who have been participating in, and contributing to, the Australian community only for a short period of time. However, Australia may afford a higher level of tolerance of criminal or other serious conduct in relation to a non-citizen who has lived in the Australian community for most of their life, or from a very young age.
(6) Australia has a low tolerance of any criminal or other serious conduct by visa applicants or those holding a limited stay visa, reflecting that there should be no expectation that such people should be allowed to come to, or remain pennanently in, Australia.
(7) The length of time a non-citizen has been making a positive contribution to the Australian community, and the consequences of a visa refusal or cancellation for minor children and other immediate family members in Australia, are considerations in the context of determining whether that non-citizen’s visa should be cancelled, or their visa application refused.