Migration Amendment (Clarifying International Obligations for Removal) Act 2021 [“the Act”] amends the Migration Act 1958 to clarify that the duty to remove under the Migration Act should not be enlivened which would result in breach of non-refoulement obligations, as identified in a protection visa assessment process, including Australia’s obligations, and related amendments to the Intelligence Services Act 2001.
The Act inserts a new section 36A which lays down provisions for consideration of protection obligations and making record thereof while considering a valid application for a protection visa made by non-citizen. Further, it substitutes subsection (3) of section 197C regarding the relevance of Australia’s non‑refoulement obligations to removal of unlawful non‑citizens under section 198. The Act also inserts a new section 197D which sets out the provisions relating to decision that protection finding would no longer be made in relation to unlawful non-citizen and new section 419 to specify the provisions when certain decisions on review must be made within the prescribed period.
The Act received the Royal Assent on 24 May 2021 and was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 26 May 2021. The provisions of the Act commenced from 25 May 2021 and are currently in force.
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