The Department of Home Affairs is attempting to deal with a broad range of issues that are all arising urgently as the Corona Virus continues to wreak havoc on all aspects of daily life. As a result, there are some areas where there is no clear guidance about how issues are to be handled during this period.
This is what we do know right now.
- The Department takes a hard line against visa holders who have criminal histories, or criminal charges laid against them.
- This includes both interim and final intervention orders.
- A visa can be cancelled or refused where a person has a ‘significant criminal history’. For this assessment, the Department treats suspended sentences as being the same as immediate custodial sentences.
- Clients whose sentences are ending can have their visas cancelled, and then be taken direct from criminal detention to immigration detention.
- The Department then has a duty to remove the client from Australia as soon as practicable (subject to various procedural fairness limitations).
- We anticipate the Corona Virus pandemic will delay the Department’s attempts to remove clients from Australia, but will not stop the Department’s activities completely.
- We also anticipate that any charges or convictions committed during this period will then be considered once the fallout of COVID19 is behind us.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the above.