Bridging Visa Bill 2023 in response to NZYQ

“Recently the high court has held, in a landmark decision of NZYQ to set a convicted child rapist free and overturning a 20-year-old precedent. And justice was done.

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Migration Case Law Updates

As reported by our good friends over at MA:

The Migration Amendment (Bridging Visa Conditions) Bill 2023 (the Bill) amends the Migration Act 1958 (the Migration Act) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Migration Regulations) to ensure non-citizens for whom there is no real prospect of removal from Australia becoming practicable in the reasonably foreseeable future and who are therefore not capable of being subject to immigration detention under subsections 189(1) and 196(1) of the Migration Act following the High Court’s orders of 8 November 2023 in NZYQ v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs (NZYQ) and who do not otherwise hold a visa are subject to appropriate visa conditions on any bridging visa granted to them following release.

The objective of the Bill is to keep the community safe, and to strengthen relevant migration laws to respond to the decision in NZYQ.

The Australian Government is taking action to strengthen the BVR framework to support the effective management of the migration status of members of this cohort, and to reinforce expectations about the purpose of the BVR, including reporting and notification obligations.

The BVR permits, eligible non-citizens whose removal is currently not reasonably practicable to lawfully remain in Australia pending removal. The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) may use a BVR where a non-citizen in the NZYQ-affected cohort has no entitlement to remain in Australia and is and is unlikely to qualify for any other visa.

The BVR includes requirements for the person to engage and cooperate with the Department to facilitate their removal from Australia.

The current requirements for BVR holders are being further strengthened through this Bill to reflect the current environment and the expectations of the Australian community in respect to the management of non-citizens holding BVRs, in light of the implications of the orders in NZYQ.

Amendments to the BVR are required to ensure the effective management of this aspect of the migration system, including recognising that non-citizens with a history of serious criminal offending, including but not limited to serious offences committed in Australia, require appropriate and proportionate management while their migration status is being resolved.

The Australian community expects well-managed migration and reasonably expects non-citizens will cooperate with removal planning and immigration processes. The Australian community expects non-citizens not to engage in behaviour contrary to resolving their immigration status, and the Australian community expects that non-citizens in Australia abide by Australia’s laws. It is also recognised that failure to comply with Australia’s laws affects the Australian community and impedes the Government’s ability to effectively manage the person’s removal from Australia.

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