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Law Council of Australia


Migration Amendment (Streamlining Visa Processing) Bill 2018

The submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Streamlining Visa Processing) Bill 2018 was prepared by the Law Council. 

The Law Council is grateful for assistance of its Migration Law Committee, Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section.

The Bill proposes amendments to the Migration Act 1958 (the Migration Act) which would enable the collection of personal identifiers to be a prerequisite to making a valid visa application in certain instances.

Currently under section 257A of the Migration Act, the Minister or an immigration officer may, in writing or orally, require a person to provide one or more personal identifiers. Section 5A of the Migration Act defines a personal identifier as including fingerprints, handprints, measurements of a person's height and weight, a photograph or other image of a person's face and shoulders, an audio or video recording of a person, an iris scan, a signature, and any other identifier prescribed by regulations.

Further to the existing provisions relating to personal identifiers, the Bill proposes to allow the Minister, by a legislative instrument, to specify classes of visa applicants who will be required to provide specified types of personal identifiers in order to make a valid visa application. Importantly, such a determination would require visa applicants to provide personal identifiers at the time of visa application, rather than post-lodgement during the application processing period.

You can read the full submission below.


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