Permanent visa granted to Robert Jovicic
Saturday, 23 February 2008
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, has decided to grant a Permanent Resident visa to Robert Jovicic.
Senator Evans said he had moved promptly to resolve yet another immigration ignominy left over by the Howard/Costello Government.
Robert Jovicic was removed from Australia to Serbia in June 2004 on character grounds after serving a prison term for burglary and theft charges.
The former Minister allowed Mr Jovicic to return to Australia in March 2006 after he became destitute and began sleeping on the steps of the Australian Embassy in Belgrade.
However, the Howard Government refused to grant Mr Jovicic a permanent visa to live in Australia until he became a Serbian citizen, instead issuing him with a temporary Special Purpose Visa.
This left Mr Jovicic in limbo, unable access Medicare and without any certainty of his future immigration status.
Mr Jovicic first arrived in Australia with his parents in 1968 at the age of two, has only visited Serbia once and does not speak the language.
Senator Evans said Mr Jovicic will now be able to remain in Australia with his family and access social service benefits such as Medicare.
‘The case of Robert Jovicic is one of the many regrettable immigration matters left unresolved by the Howard Government,’ Senator Evans said.
‘I have made it a priority to act on those legacy cases and return integrity to Australia's immigration system.
‘The case of Binh Van (Tony) Tran, who was wrongfully detained for five years, was a priority on coming to Government and I moved swiftly to grant him permanent residency.
‘The Rudd Government committed to settling Cornelia Rau's compensation claim as quickly as possible and we did so in less than three months.
‘We resolved the cases of the seven Burmese and 82 Sri Lankans who were classified as refugees but had been left languishing on Nauru for months on end.
‘As a matter of priority, the Rudd Government has also moved quickly to honour its election commitment to end the former Government's failed Pacific Solution – a policy that cost taxpayers $300 million and ultimately saw the majority of refugees who were held offshore end up in Australia.‘The Howard/Costello Government politicised Australia's immigration system to serve the interests of the Liberal party, not the interests of Australia.’
Last update: 20 December 2010 at 14:39 AEST