Options for Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals in Australia

When people arrive in Australia by sea without permission, it’s legally complicated. Section 46A is a
big hurdle for those trying to get a visa after entering the country this way. But there’s a potential
solution – ministerial intervention under Section 46A(2).

Understanding the Bar in Section 46A
This bar can be lifted through ministerial intervention, which means individuals can ask to have the
restriction removed.

Lifting the Bar

For a ministerial intervention request to succeed, the Minister needs to think it’s in the public
interest. If approved, the person can apply for one visa, and any more attempts are not allowed.
Trying to apply for multiple visas at the same time can lead to complications.

Public Interest Power

The Minister looks at different things, like protection claims and character assessments, to decide if
it’s in the public interest to lift the bar. Guidelines for referring cases to the Minister show specific
situations where intervention might be needed, like compassionate reasons, protection issues, or
mistakes identified through a legal review.

Referral Process

If the Minister decides to lift the bar, fairness in the process becomes crucial. The person applying
must be told about the decision and have a chance to comment.

Sorting out the legal side of things for people who arrive by sea is tricky, especially with Section 46A
in the way. Ministerial intervention offers hope for those dealing with the application bar, providing
a way to stay legally in the country. Understanding the guidelines, referral steps, and why fairness
matters is vital for those trying to fix their immigration status.

If you’re in this situation, it’s essential to get advice from experienced migration lawyers.

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

14 Nov, 2023

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