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High Court decisions – Limit to number of protection visas

On 20 June 2014, the High Court unanimously held that the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (“the Minister”) did not have the power under s85 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (“the Act”) to limit the number of protection visas that may be granted in a specified financial year.

Two cases were decided by the High Court – Plaintiff M150 of 2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2014] HCA 25 and Plaintiff S297/2013 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2014] HCA 24.

The High Court found under s65 of the Migration Act 1958, the Minister has a duty, after considering a valid application for a visa, to grant the visa if satisfied that certain conditions are met and to refuse to grant the visa if not so satisfied. Section 65A imposes a duty on the Minister to make a decision on protection visa applications within 90 days.}

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