18 January 2012

Australian immigration minister cancels Kiwi criminal's Australian visa

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An Appeal Tribunal's decision not to deport a second New Zealander criminal has been overturned by Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.

Australia visa

Joseph Williams has had his Australian visa cancelled and remains in custody while he awaits deportation.

Joseph Williams, an ex member of New Zealand's notorious Mongrel Mob gang, moved to Australia six years ago seeking a fresh start. However, after falling foul of the law, his Australian visa has now been cancelled and he awaits deportation in police custody in Sydney.

The father of 10 successful appealed a deportation order in 2011 after convincing the Appeal Tribunal that he would be at risk of being killed by his former gang should he return to New Zealand.

But Immigration Minister Chris Bowen exercised special ministerial powers to overturn the decision, saying in a statement that "Mr Williams' visa has been cancelled due to character concerns, and therefore has no lawful right to remain in Australia."

Williams, whose list of previous convictions include armed robbery, arson, theft and police assault has expressed his disappointment at the decision, saying "I believe if somebody has changed, then give them a shot."

"They say I'm a threat to the Australian community. I'm not a threat to the Australian community".

Mr Bowen's intervention is the second in as many weeks after deciding to deport Hayden Harlem Tewao, dubbed a 'gentle giant', due to his "exceptionally large" size which, according to Mr Bowen, made him a threat to the national interest.

The deportations come as the Australian immigration authorities take steps to crack down on immigration policy.


The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy London.

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