Kiwi detainees won't lose right to appeal

  • 09/12/2015
Justice Minister Amy Adams (Simon Wong/File)
Justice Minister Amy Adams (Simon Wong/File)

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed Kiwi detainees who return home voluntarily won't lose the right to appeal their visa cancellations.

His statement followed a phone call from New Zealand Justice Minister Amy Adams after it was revealed New Zealanders awaiting deportation were being asked to sign a form that said their appeals may not be heard if they leave Australia.

That would cut across a commitment given by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that New Zealanders being held in detention centres wouldn't be disadvantaged if they returned home while challenging the decision to revoke their visas.

After contacting Mr Dutton's office yesterday, Ms Adams told reporters she had been assured Mr Turnbull's commitment stood.

She said she had been told the form was generic and pre-dated the commitment.

Mr Dutton's statement backed that up.

"No individual returned to New Zealand is denied the right to continue appeals processing already underway in relation to the cancellation of their visa," he said.

"Cases have already occurred where New Zealand citizens have returned to Australia after receiving an appeal decision in their favour while they were back in New Zealand."

Mr Dutton said he had instructed his department to clarify the wording on the forms the detainees sign when they leave Australia.

There's been a dramatic increase in the number of New Zealanders being detained across the Tasman since Australia brought in tough new immigration rules late last year.

Those rules mean anyone who has been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison can have their visa cancelled.