Peter Dutton made headlines last week when it was revealed that the federal police had raided the Department of Home Affairs. The raid was the result of leaked documents pertaining to Mr Dutton’s intervention in granting visas to European au pairs
Did Peter Dutton do Anything Wrong?
There has been much speculation about Peter Dutton’s actions. Some question why visas were granted in these cases and whether the involvement of high profile individuals had an influence.
What needs to be noted, is a minister or Peter Dutton in this case has the ministerial authority to grant anyone a visa even if the application has been refused. As long as due process has taken place a visa can be granted.
When a visa application is lodged, it is assessed and either approved or denied. If denied, the applicant can lodge an appeal. If the appeal is rejected, the applicant is entitled to a further appeal to the minister. The minister can then review the case and determine if the visa application fits within the criteria required to stay in Australia and grant the visa accordingly.
If the minister decides to grant the visa but there is no evidence of the above process taking place then the minister can be accused of wrong doing. This scenario can be particularly risky especially if the the action is construed as doing a favour for a friend as it can be seen as corruption.
According to Peter Dutton, he followed procedure and exercised his right to grant the visa. So he didn’t do anything wrong. The ramifications of not following protocol are dire so really it is in a minister’s best interest to follow procedure.
If you have a similar issue or would like expert advice on any aspects of migration, speak to one of the VSA team today. It is a complex subject so it is important to speak with someone in the know.