January 08, 2014
In an email circulated to registered Migration Agents, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison has said that his department will no longer process applications for family reunion lodged by those who came to Australia on a boat and after being recognized as ‘Refugees’ (and clearing security checks) and therefore became Australian permanent residents . The email states that ‘Family Migration visa applications sponsored by IMAs (Irregular/Illegal Maritime Arrivals – a term used for asylum seekers and their boats) will be given the lowest processing priority.
‘The office would also be unable to further assist with enquiries and complaints about these changes’.
This is the transcript of the letter sent to Migration Agents;
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 7 January 2014 12:33 AM
Subject: Important information regarding changes to processing for Family
Migration visa applications [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Dear Registered Migration Agent
I am writing to you about changes to processing for Family Migration visa
applications sponsored by people who arrived in Australia as illegal
maritime arrivals (IMAs).
Your office has been identified as having visa applications being affected
by a new Direction by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
This Direction states that Family Migration visa applications sponsored by
IMAs will be given the lowest processing priority. This Direction applies to
visa applicants sponsored by a person who arrived in Australia as an IMA and
who now holds a permanent visa. It does not apply where a sponsor is
already (or becomes) an Australian citizen. A copy of the new Direction is
available on LEGEND.
Applications sponsored by IMAs who hold a permanent visa will not be
processed until all applications of higher priority have been finalised. As
a result, these visa applications will not be processed further. There is no
priority for families sponsored by an IMA who are facing compelling or
Applicants who have already lodged valid applications and have paid the Visa
Application Charge (VAC) will not be refunded the VAC even if they withdraw
their application. We recommend that your clients cancel any travel plans,
and appointments for health, DNA and character checks.
As this visa processing Direction has been made by the Minister for
Immigration and Border Protection, this office is unable to assist with
further enquiries and complaints about this change. A FAQ document is also
attached to this email.
If a sponsor becomes an Australian citizen, please advise this office via
Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances available at
If you have a case identified where the sponsor did not arrive in Australia
as an IMA after September 2001 please contact this office immediately with
the file number.
Chief Migration Officer
Dubai, United Arab