AUSTRALIA’S top diplomat has apologised to a group of expatriates after a visa application was cancelled by the country’s immigration department after it failed to meet requirements for the position.
Key points:Immigration minister says visa application will be considered again in a few days’ timeThe decision came after a week of pressure from the Australian Council for Refugees and the Human Rights Law CentreIn a statement on Friday, immigration minister Scott Morrison said it was not the first time a visa has been cancelled by Australia’s Immigration Department.
“There has been a number of visa applications that have been cancelled before and it is our practice not to do so in a bid to maximise efficiency,” he said.
“I understand this was not a case that was easily solved and I would like to apologise to those individuals.”
We would also like to take the opportunity to apologise for any frustration caused by the delays and difficulties this caused.
“These were difficult decisions for the applicants, who were also impacted by the lack of information provided in the visa application process.”
As the minister for Immigration and Border Protection, I have full confidence in my department to handle any matters that arise in the course of the visa process.
“It comes as immigration minister, Scott Morrison, said his department would consider reconsidering visa applications and he would consider the human rights law centre’s request for an independent review of his department’s decision.
Mr Morrison said the decision was not unusual and that “it is not the department’s policy to cancel visas” in Australia.
He said that he had no idea the application had been rejected when it was cancelled and he did not know the name of the individual who was told they had been “cancelled” and the reason for it.”
It’s not a common practice, so I can’t say exactly what’s going on,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrins office said the visa applicant had submitted the visa to the department in January this year.”
The application has been processed and the applicant has now provided information to the Department of Immigration about the reasons for the visa’s cancellation,” a spokesman said.
He added that the visa had been issued by the department on a “validly valid” visa and that the applicant was not under any “threat of persecution”.
Mr Morrison’s statement came as the Human Resource and Skills Development Council (HRDSC) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) launched a joint inquiry into the visa cancellation policy.
The review, called Australia’s Visa Censorship and Review Act, will look into how the government can ensure the visa system is more transparent and is not used to discriminate against Australians.
It comes after a number in the business community called for a review into the policy of visa cancellations and said it needed to be improved.
A number of immigration department employees had criticised the process in a report last year.
But in response to the HRDSC and AHRC inquiry, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that his department has reviewed the process for visa applications, and will now consider whether to reconsider the application.”
That review will take a few weeks,” Mr Abbott said.
The HRDSB and AHCR said the review was needed to ensure the process was “transparent, transparent and fair”.”
I think it is important for all Australians to understand that we have an open and transparent system of visa processing,” HRDSCB chief executive Sally Hughes said.
Read more”The decision not to cancel this visa application does not reflect a change in the Government’s view of the process.””
It is a decision that has been made on a case-by-case basis and is a matter that will be examined in the appropriate way.
“While I have been pleased that the Minister for Immigration has agreed that there will be an investigation, it will not change the fact that the Government does not have a clear policy on the issue.”
Mr Morrison has not been asked about the cancellation, nor has he said what action his department plans to take.
Mr Abbott said it is the first instance in a year the minister has made a public statement about the matter.
“He has acknowledged that we’ve got an open process,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“But I don’t know the details of the review.”
Certainly it is a positive thing for our business community and the immigration system in general.