IARC is actively involved in policy development and law reform with a view to ensuring access and equity within Australia’s immigration processes and promoting a just and equitable migration system.
Our practical experience provides government and law reformers with invaluable insights into the effects, and sometimes unintended consequences, of changes to laws and legal processes.
Recent IARC submissions include:
Draft National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032
On 25 February 2022, IARC made a submission to the Draft National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032. Nearly 50% of the work we do at our centre is related to DFV, and in 2020/2021 IARC provided over 1100 individual legal services to more than 350 temporary visa holders experiencing family violence. 89% of our DFV clients identify as women. This submission draws on our extensive experience giving legal services to clients experiencing DFV.
Migration Amendment (Protecting Migrant Workers) Bill 2021 [Provisions]
On 28 January 2022, IARC and Unions NSW made a joint submission to the Migration Amendment (Protecting Migrant Workers) Bill 2021 [Provisions], using the knowledge gained from our Visa Assist partnership to offer recommendations to improve working conditions for migrant workers.
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry into family migration
On 3 May 2021, IARC made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry which is looking into the efficacy, fairness, timeliness and costs of family reunion visas.
Department of Home Affairs’ Consultation on English Language Requirements for Partner visa applicant and sponsors
On 31 March 2021, IARC wrote to the Department of Home Affairs’ noting our opposition to the proposed changes. We believe that the proposed reforms will make it harder for temporary visa holders who experience family violence to seek help and leave their violent relationships. We also believe that the reforms are unnecessary, unfair and discriminatory.
NSW Joint Select Committee on Coercive Control
On 16 March 2021, IARC made a submission to the Joint Select Committee calling for increased education, improved access to services, long-term sustainable funding for specialist DFV services and improved training for police.
Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration
On 30 July 2020, IARC made a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration, recommending:
- the removal of condition 8105 (40-hour work fortnight) from Student visas;
- amending condition 8607 to allow for at least 90 days for a visa holder to find a new sponsor with the possibility of a waiver of this condition where there is evidence of workplace bullying/harassment/exploitation; and
- there be a PR pathway created whereby holders of 457 visas or TSS visas working in their nominated occupation for a period of three years or more are automatically eligible to apply for a subclass 189 or 190 visa (without having to lodge an expression of interest and be
invited to apply).
House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee
On 24 July 2020, IARC made a submission to the House Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee’s enquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence.
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
On 12 June 2020, IARC made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the Migration Amendment (Prohibited Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020 expressing our view that the Bill was not appropriate or justified and imposed unreasonable, unnecessary and disproportionate limitations on the right to privacy.
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
We have provided a submission into the Review into the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Bill 2019, setting out a number of concerns about the Bill that ultimately informs our view that it should not be passed.
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into Dowry Abuse
We provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into the practice of dowry abuse in Australia, with a particular focus on how such abuse might impact on migrant women and their visa status with particular regards to situations where there is domestic or family violence involved.
Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 – Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
We provided a submission on the ‘Citizenship Bill’. Our submission was particularly concerned with the proposed changes to the English language requirement, the proposed amendment to the provisions relating to citizenship by birth, and the proposed expansion of the Minister’s public interest powers to set aside decisions made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. We also gave evidence in front of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. As a result of the submission and oral evidence provided, and the submissions and oral evidence of many other stakeholders, this Bill did not pass.
Policy Consultation Paper – Visa Simplification: Transforming Australia’s Visa System – Department of Immigration and Border Protection
We provided a written response to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s policy consultation paper which focused primarily on considerations for a new visa system for Australia. Our submission argued the importance of having strong family and humanitarian visa streams within Australia’s immigration program. IARC supports a visa system that complies with our obligations under international human rights law, and is committed to a strong humanitarian program and a strong family reunification program.
Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 – Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
We provided a submission on this Bill, in which we expressed particular concern about the punitive measures the Bill sought to introduce into Australia’s immigration detention system.It is our view that the Bill is not appropriate in its current form. The limitations placed on the right to privacy and the right against arbitrary interference with one’s family and correspondence is not reasonable, necessary or proportionate. It is IARC’s view that the Committee should recommend that this Bill not be passed.
Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018
We gave evidence at the Senate Hearing of this Inquiry on 17 April 2018.
Review processes associated with visa cancellations made on criminal grounds – Joint Standing Committee on Migration
We provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into the review processes associated with visa cancellations made on criminal grounds. Our submission argued that decisions to cancel a person’s visa should continue to be reviewable due to the immense impact such a decision can have on an individual and his or her family.