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Posted by on in General

A case involving subclass 866 visa applicant saw the AAT affirmed the decision of a delegate of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection refusing to grant the applicant a protection visa. In this instance, the Tribunal was not satisfied that, on return to Ethiopia, there was a real chance the applicant would face serious harm or a real risk she would face significant harm.

What harm was claimed?

The applicant claimed to fear harm based on her gender, ethnicity, imputed political opinions and former occupation as a journalist, amongst other things.

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Recent case before the AAT determined that it was appropriate to set aside a decision of the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs (the Department) refusing to grant the applicant a bridging visa. The Tribunal found there were other reasons for him to stay in the interim and remitted the decision with the direction that his visa not be refused.

The applicant’s visa was refused on character grounds. He had been convicted of possessing a marketable quantity of heroin and served a prison sentence of seven years and nine months and, following his release, was fined for a prescribed concentration of alcohol offence.

When a person’s visa application is refused, they can seek a merits review in the AAT. The AAT is required to consider the matters set out in Ministerial Direction no. 79 (the Ministerial Direction) which include protection of the Australian community from criminal or other serious conduct, the best interests of minor children in Australia and the expectations of the Australian community (primary considerations). The Tribunal must also consider other factors, such as our international non-refoulement obligation and the strength, nature and length of a person’s ties to Australia (other considerations).

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In this particular case, the AAT affirmed a decision of the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs (the Department) not to revoke the mandatory cancellation of the applicant’s spouse visa. He was found to not be of good character. 

By way of background, the applicant’s visa was cancelled on character grounds because he had a substantial criminal record and was serving a sentence of imprisonment. This was a mandatory cancellation (under s501) by the Department after the applicant was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempting to possess a commercial quantity of methamphetamine.

When a person has requested revocation of the cancellation of the visa and that request has been refused by the Department, they can seek a merits review in the AAT of the decision.

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As many would be aware, PMSOL list is now being prioritised by the Department of Home Affairs in relation.  Whilst accredited sponsors will continue to receive “priority” processing, a further slowdown of the processing time can be expected.  The following advice has been received from the Department of Home Affairs Employer Sponsored delivery team:

 

Existing skilled migration occupation lists will remain active and applications will still be processed, but priority will be given to those relating to occupations on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). Further information regarding the PMSOL is available at:

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Australian Citizenship Act 2007
An Act relating to Australian citizenship
Item was amended
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2007A00020

Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Cessation) Act 2020
An Act to amend the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, and for related purposes
Item was registered on 18/09/2020
Some or all of this item commenced on 18/09/2020
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2020A00088

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