Publish Date: May 30, 2013
The information on the Department of Immigrations website is a useful resource for anyone considering applying for a visa in Australia. In saying that you should not assume that it provides you with all the answers or that what it is saying is necessarily true. Even when it is technically accurate, some of the critical information is ambiguous and may give you the wrong impression about whether or not you qualify for a visa.
We recently had a client that had lodged an application to stay in Australia to look after one of her family members (“Mr X”). After reading the information on the Department of Immigration’s website she lodged her own visa application. As part of that application, he was sponsored by another family member (“Mr Y”).
The client had incorrectly assumed, based on what she read on the Department of Immigration’s website, that because the person she was going to look after (“Mr X”) did not have their own money he was not able to sponsor her and that she needed another sponsor.
Unfortunately her application for a visa was refused because even though the Department of Immigrations website suggested that Mr Y could sponsor her application, the regulations which set out the actual criteria for the visa stipulate that only the person she was coming to assist or their spouse could act as sponsor.
The really sad part was that if this very small and innocent mistake was not made the lady would have been granted a permanent residence visa to look after Mr X; she would have work rights and would not have to worry about whether she would be granted a visa.
Instead, she was forced to apply to the Migration Review Tribunal that was bound to refuse her challenge to the Department's decision (it had no choice because it applies the same law as the Department) and to then ask for the Minister to intervene on her behalf.
This client is still waiting for an outcome. All the while she has been unable to leave Australia and there were issues around the getting permission to work.
Coming to Australia, whether temporarily or permanently, is a big deal. It is important that you get advice from an experienced immigration lawyer about whether or not you qualify for a visa and whether your application, as presented, is likely to be successful.
If you want advice from our experience immigration lawyers please phone us on +61 2 8268 4000 for a consultation.