Visa regulations already 'too strict', immigration expert says after changes blocked


A legal expert has praised Tuesday's Senate decision to throw out proposed migrant visa changes, saying the existing regulations were already too strict.

An immigration law expert says she is thrilled after the Senate decided to throw out proposed changes to migrant visas.

A Greens motion to dump the regulations which cracked down on false and misleading information, as well as mistakes on visa applications, was passed in the Senate on Tuesday.

Immigration law specialist Professor Mary Crock felt the changes would have made an already difficult process harder.

"The current law is too strict so making it even tougher is ridiculous," she told SBS News.  

"Personally I'd like to see us go back to a much more discretionary system that gives more leeway to people."

The proposed regulations would have meant anyone who submitted false information as part of a visa application, even unintentionally, would have faced a ban on submitting a new application for 10 years.

This would have included inaccurate statements, omissions of fact or lodging bogus documents - such as bank records, work experience claims or false English language proficiency scores.

Professor Crock felt many migrants would have had no idea about the proposed changes to applications.

"They didn't know, this was slipped in ... a regulation made without any debate," she said.

On Tuesday Greens senator Nick McKim said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's changes to visa regulations were "disproportionate, draconian and punitive".

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said the Greens' concerns were exaggerated and if people did not follow the rules they should not be allowed into the country.

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