JUMA (Migration) [2020] AATA 4573 (2 November 2020)

The applicant on this matter was a 51 year old female from Kenya who wanted to come to Australia under the subclass 600 family sponsored stream visitor visa. The applicant’s visa application was refused on the grounds that the officer did not believe the applicant was a genuine temporary entrant and did not believe that the applicant had any incentives to go back to her home country. The Applicant applied for a review to the AAT. The Applicant had showed that she had travelled to Australia previously on a tourist visa and had complied with the conditions. She had also proved that she had travelled to many European countries where she had also complied with the conditions. The Tribunal took these into consideration. The Applicant also made claims that almost all her siblings, parents, nephews/ nieces and friends were in Kenya and therefore she had a strong incentive to return to Kenya. The Applicant further stated that she had a full time job and that her employer had given her permission to travel overseas for the period of her visa. 

The issues that the Tribunal had with the fact that in the visa application declared that the Applicant did not have any non-accompanying family members in Kenya however it was also declared that she had her parents in Kenya whom she had to take care of. This was presented as the incentive for her to return to her home country. The tribunal was concerned that this was a way for the Applicant to hide adverse information about her family member’s travelling history and visa compliance history. As such, it was stated that applicant may have intentions of not complying with her visa conditions as well. The Tribunal put forward that there were several inconsistencies with the migration agent’s claims and evidence and was therefore concerned that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the claims put forward. Inconsistencies included claims in submissions about the Applicant’s travel history and employment where evidence for both were not provided. The Applicant themselves refuted the employment claims during her statements to the Tribunal and this was a major concerning point. 

However, the AAT ended up solving all those inconsistencies – although noting it wasted a lot of time- and deciding to remit the decision of the minister. 

What does this mean for you as an applicant?

This case is a prime example of why it is extremely important for an applicant to provide enough evidence to prove the claims that are made in submissions and visa applications.  This case also shows that it is essential for applicants and their agents/ lawyers to go through the documents being submitted within a court in order to come to an understanding of what claims are being made and what documents there are to support this. The applicant will also need to make sure they have been completely open and honest with their migration agent/ lawyer so that the Tribunal does not find inconsistencies with the evidence and claims. 

If you have any further questions or concerns about these situations, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will assist you