29 July 2008

Australian government reforms immigration detention system

The Australian Government has announced reforms to the country's immigration detention system saying it will only be used as a last resort. Senator Chris Evans, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, said the reforms will mean the centres are only used for the shortest possible time.

He added: "A person who poses no danger to the community will be able to remain in the community while their visa status is resolved." Senator Evans stated the department will also have to fully justify why a person with no Australian visa is being held in a detention centre.

In addition, a detainee's case will have to be reviewed every three months to make sure the action is still applicable. Senator Evans added: "Children will not be detained in an immigration detention centre."

Under the new plans three groups of people who do not have the correct Australian visa will still receive mandatory detention, including those arriving on unauthorised boats and those illegally in the country who are not protected under Australia's internal obligations. One advocate on the new system told News.com.au: "It will go from being a first resort to a last resort".

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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