Migration Legislation Amendment (Cessation of Visa Labels) Bill 2015

Tuesday, 02 February 2016

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell—Assistant Minister to the Treasurer) (18:16): I thank members for their contributions to this debate, especially the member for Corio on that very stately and timely speech with excellent cadence and rhythm. Followers of his speeches will note that he always has a very timely approach to his speaking.

While every non-Australian citizen intending to enter and/or remain in Australia is required to have a valid visa, the Australian government does not require a person holding a valid visa to have a label attached to their passport. Australian visas are stored electronically and linked to a passport enabling visa holders, registered Australian organisations and airlines staff to check visa details online. The bill repealed the Migration (Visa Evidence) Charge Act 2012 and amends the Migration Act 1958 to repeal provisions relating to visa labels. Provisions being repealed by the bill no longer have any practical effect. This is a result of amendments made to the Migration Regulations 1994 by the Migration Amendment (Visa Labels) Regulation 2015 on 1 September 2015, which removed the ability of visa holders to request and pay for a visa label as evidence of a visa.

Amendments to the migration regulations together with the measures in this bill complete the implementation of the government's policy of label-free visas. The changes are in accordance with the government's regulatory reform agenda. In summary, I believe the bill deserves the support of all members and I commend the bill to the chamber.