Migration law is complicated enough at the best of times. It gets worse when there are (often) overlapping review proceedings on foot and multiple visa applications. Ms Moorcroft (who is a NZ citizen) was removed from Australia after her special category visa was cancelled in January 2018.

In June 2018 the Federal Circuit Court quashed (with the Minister’s consent) the cancellation decision. As a result Ms Moorcroft returned to Australia in January 2019 and set off the following chain of events:

  • her special category visa was refused on arrival (and she was detained). She sought judicial review of that decision;
  • In March 2019, the Federal Circuit Court dismissed her review application and she appealed to the Federal Court;
  • In March 2020 the Federal Court quashed the Circuit Court decision and she was granted (the following day) a special category visa;
  • Unfortunately for her, the Minister obtained special leave for a High Court appeal;
  • In June 2021 the High Court set aside the Federal Court judgment
  • In October 2021, she was placed in immigration detention (again) and applied for a bridging visa (“BV”).

The Minister’s view was that the BV application was invalid because she wasn’t an “eligible non-citizen”.

Another Federal Court proceeding was commenced (see Moorcroft v Minister [2021] FCA 1348 ) and the central issue was whether the March 2020 visa (which was granted after her successful Federal Court case but before the High Court overturned it) was valid? The short answer is “no”. The decision effectively meant that the grant was invalid ab initio. 

Creative commons acknowledgment for the photograph.

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