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Former British soldier granted visa upon review

Former British soldier granted visa upon review

A review has found that a former British soldier should be granted an immigration visa to move to Western Australia, despite his lack of a university education - the original reason he was knocked back.

Originally joining the army at the age of 16, fresh from school, James Shore served his country through two tours of Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

After resigning from the armed forces he visited his mother who is a permanent resident in Western Australia and as a result of his visit, he decided to move there, using her to sponsor his family visa

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship refused his application because he lacked a higher education, despite his military history.

Following a campaign by newspaper Perth Now and local radio station 6PR, a review was launched by immigration minister Chris Bowen.

The original decision has now been overturned. Mr Bowen told 6PR: “Sometimes there are very common sense cases which just don’t meet the legal test, but it's common sense that they be allowed to stay.

"I actually get about 5,000 personal requests a year that I work through and decide yes or no on compassionate grounds or common sense grounds”.

Mr Bowen added that despite the fact Mr Shore did not meet the criteria, his military background meant that he would be a valuable asset to Australia.

It comes as some working holiday visas are being cancelled due to revelations that applicants are paying off people to pose as employers, in a bid to extend their time in Australia.

Some reports suggest that one working holiday visa is cancelled every day as foreign nationals try to take advantage of a scheme which allows them to stay for an extra year if they spend three months working in rural areas.

The Department of Immigration has brought forward information that shows in a three-year time period, just over 1,000 visas had been cancelled.

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