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Two year temporary entry for spouse applicants

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M e d i a R e l e a s e

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MR Parliam ent House, C anberra A C T 2600)

M inister for Im m igration and M ulticultural Affairs Telephone: (06) 277 7860 Facsimile: (06) 273 4144t

MRS 83/96


Migrants entering under the spouse category will receive an initial two year temporary entry visa under measures reintroduced today by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock.

Ί have been concerned for some time that people were contriving relationships for the purpose of migration to Australia. An initial two year temporary entry visa will do much to discourage non-bona fide applicants," Mr Ruddock said.

The new measure will apply to applications made from today.

A two year temporary entry visa for off-shore applicants had been introduced in November, but the Regulations had been among those disallowed in the Senate. After negotiations with the Opposition, agreement has been reached to reintroduce the measure.

'The changes bring off-shore applicants into line with requirements for people who have made their spouse applications on-shore in Australia," Mr Ruddock said.

"When this measure was introduced for on-shore applicants several years ago, there was a significant drop in spouse applications made on-shore and an increase in off­ shore applications."

The new provision had been disallowed along with other provisions, in the Senate last month. With the cooperation of the Senate, the Government has been able to reintroduce this measure, which will help restore public confidence in the immigration program."

Ί would hope that the spirit of cooperation could continue, because it has been sadly lacking in recent months."

"Labor has recently resorted to personal attacks and tried to score cheap political points instead of playing a positive role to support a migration program that balances Australia's social, economic and environmental needs."

"From personal experience when in Opposition, I can say the Coalition recognised that it was the then-Government's responsibility to manage the migration program and worked in a cooperative manner to provide flexible management tools."

11 December 1996

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