The Australian Immigration department could have their visa cancelled under proposed laws to tighten the character test. In the proposed changes, the visa-holders who have committed a crime that carries a maximum sentence of at least two years such as common assault, will automatically fail the character test, even if they are not sentence to jail. This legislation was introduced last month by the Immigration Minister David Coleman last month. The other test which was changed in 2014 to allow the government to deport non-citizens sentenced to at least 12 months jail for their crime. This has resulted in more than 1,000 kiwis being sent back between 2016 and 2018.
Adding to concerns about the proposed changes is that they will apply retrospectively meaning anyone who has committed a crime covered by the laws in the past could be deported on character grounds.
Mr. Coleman said, “The bill presents a very clear message to all non-citizens that the Australian community has no tolerance for foreign nationals who have been convicted of such crimes.” He said that entry and stay in Australia was a privilege, not a right. And those who break the law and fail to support the standards of behavior expected by the Australian community will lose the privilege.
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