Australia - No appeal against decision to restore Haneef's visa

16 January 2008


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Senator Chris Evans, Minister of Immigration and Citizenship for Australia, announced that he would not appeal the decision to restore Dr Mohamed Haneef's visa.

Evans' predecessor, Kevin Andrews, initially revoked Dr Haneef's visa on "character grounds" after he was implicated in connection with the failed bombing attempts in London and Glasgow airport in June 2007.

Dr Haneef, arrested on 2 July 2007, remained in detention until the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew its charge of terrorist-related activities on 27 July 2007. Haneef had his passport returned and he voluntarily left Australia on 29 July 2007.

The Federal Court, on 21 August 2007, overturned the cancellation of his 457 Temporary Long Stay visa, and Andrews appealed the Federal Courts decision. The court dismissed his appeal and restored Dr Haneef's visa on 21 December 2007.

Senator Evans, when originally announcing the restoration of Haneef's visa, said that he might lodge another appeal to the decision.

Senator Evans, after consultation with the Commonwealth Solicitor-General, decided that another appeal was not the best course of action.

"However, I have sought advice from my department on the ramifications of the Full Federal Court decision for the operation of the character provisions of the Migration Act," Evans said. "Upon receipt of that advice, I will consider the need for any legislative amendment."

While it is unclear what his plans are, Dr Haneef can return to Australia and work if he chooses to do so.