31 March 2009

Australian character requirements for non-citizens in question for New Zealander

An Australian man has argued that Australian character requirements for non-citizens should be extended to New Zealanders, reports ABC News.

The Australian character requirements are stringent regulations that are part of the temporary and permanent Australian migration programmes.  The Australian character requirements mean that all Australian visa applicants must declare to the Australian government any criminal history they may have while lodging their Australian visa application form

Amongst other regulations, if an Australian migrant is found to be a danger to the Australian community, or if they have been sentenced to more than 12 months or more imprisonment, then they will not be allowed to remain in or migrate to Australia.

New Zealand citizens travelling or emigrating to Australia are not subject to the Australian character requirements because New Zealand is part of a visa-waiver programme with Australia, known as the Trans-Tasman Agreement.  This means that holders of a New Zealand passport can holiday, live and work in Australia without having to apply for an Australia visa and pass the Australian character requirements as determined by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).  The only time New Zealanders need to pass the Australian character requirements is when people who have moved to Australia after the age of 16 are applying for Australian citizenship.

Paul Stanley, father of the late Matthew Stanley, has called for his son's killer to be deported to New Zealand after being released last week from two-and-a-half years in prison.  The now 18-year-old dealt fellow teenager Matthew Stanley a lethal blow at a party in 2006, and Paul Stanley said he should have to comply with Australian migration regulations and be deported to his country of birth.

"According to the rules and regulations of the Immigration Act, if you commit a serious crime, which I would imagine the murder would be classed as, and if you are in jail for more than 12 months and you're not an Australian citizen, you can be, you should be, deported," he said.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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