An Adelaide father has lost his third bid to stay in Australia, after spending more than two years in immigration detention.
The Federal Court has dismissed Paul Burgess’ application for judicial review of the Federal Government’s decision to cancel his visa.
Mr Burgess, who was born in the United Kingdom and migrated with his parents to Australia when he was a toddler in 1986, now has less than a month to appeal to a Full Bench of the Federal Court or face deportation.
The Federal Government first stripped Paul Burgess of permanent residency on June 3, 2016, as part of a nationwide push to deport serious criminals who did not hold citizenship.
The revocation of his visa was initially based on his two-month membership of the Comancheros Motorcycle Club, but he appealed against the visa cancellation and won in September 2016.
On that same day, some 30 minutes later, then Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cancelled his residency visa a second time, on the grounds that he failed the character test based on his criminal record.
In February 2018, Mr Burgess argued the department had made an administrative error and won his appeal against the cancellation.
Mr Burgess was due to fly home from Christmas Island to his fiancee and six-year-old son in Adelaide the following day.
He never made it past the detention centre gates.
Court documents show that when he was notified he had successfully overturned his visa cancellation, he had no money and elected to stay at the centre overnight while waiting for the next flight to mainland Australia at 2:00pm the following day.
On the morning he was due to fly to Australia, he tried to leave the detention centre, but was told by a guard there were no cars available to transport him.
He was asked to attend a meeting, at which he was advised that his visa had been cancelled for the third time.
Mr Burgess says he ‘didn’t even know how to ride’
In 2017, Mr Burgess told the ABC that he had joined the Comancheros Motorcycle Club after a high school friend urged him to.
“I started hanging around there, and it was only for a couple of months,” Mr Burgess said.
“How do you say that’s a bikie? A bikie’s someone that rides a bike around, I don’t even know how to ride.”
The Federal Court judgment states that Mr Burgess was convicted of robbery and common assault in 2003 and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Mr Burgess has now spent more time in immigration detention than in prison.
However, his criminal history also means the Federal Government has grounds to argue he does not meet the character test outlined in the Migration Act.
In a statement, an Immigration Department spokesman said it would not comment on individual cases.
“The Australian Government takes seriously its responsibility to protect the Australian community from the risk of harm posed by non-citizens who engage in criminal conduct or behaviour of concern,” the spokesman said.
“There are strong provisions in the Migration Act 1958 that allow the department or the Minister to refuse or cancel a visa, where a person is found not to be of good character.”
Last year, more than 800 people had their visas revoked by the Federal Government.
Since the Migration Act was amended in 2014 — which increased the provisions of the character test — 4,150 visas have been cancelled.
Looking for further assistance on skill select invitations works? Book a consultation today with our experts or drop your queries at Bansal Immigration consultant.