The federal government is acting to “promptly” deport foreign-born criminals convicted of violent or serious sex offences.
The coalition plans to introduce legislation in parliament to close a loophole in migration personality testing laws.
The proposed amendment will allow the government to refuse or cancel visas for non-citizens who have been convicted and sentenced to at least two years in prison for serious offences, served less than 12 months and are considered a risk for the community.
Offenses included violent and sexual crimes, violation of personal protection orders such as apprehended violence orders, use or possession of a weapon or assistance in any of these crimes, said Tuesday the government.
“An Australian visa is a privilege that should be denied to those who pose a threat to the security of Australians,” Immigration and Citizenship Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement.
“It shouldn’t be easier to deport an international sports star than a convicted criminal.
“That’s why this bill expands existing discretionary powers to cancel and refuse visas under the ‘character test’.”
Mr Hawke said the changes would reduce the likelihood of deportation orders being overturned on appeal and capture offenders with sentence reductions or sentences below the threshold for mandatory visa cancellation.
The bill will also allow the use of data matching and biometric information to help the government identify people of concern.
The bill is expected to be presented to parliament on Wednesday.
Australian Associated Press