Tribunal: Member Adrienne Millbank

The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) cancelled the applicant’s Student visa. The applicant requested a review of the decision by the AAT.

The applicant arrived in Australia and enrolled in a Master of Information Technology course at an Australian university. The university cancelled his enrolment due to non-payment of tuition fees. The applicant continued to stay in Australia on his Student visa for over 15 months without a valid enrolment. Enrolment in a registered university course was a condition of the applicant’s visa.[1] Visa cancellation is not mandatory once this condition is breached.[2] The issue for the AAT was to consider whether, in all the circumstances, the visa should be cancelled.

The applicant claimed there were a number of factors that contributed to his failure to pay for and attend university. He stated he lost someone close to him soon after he arrived in Australia, and he had to travel home to India for a time because of this. He also claimed to be immobilised by loneliness in Australia and this led him to stop attending university, although he continued to work part-time. The applicant claimed he intended to re-enroll in the course at the next opportunity.

The AAT considered the applicant’s circumstances as a whole and concluded that the visa should be cancelled. The AAT found the financial and emotional hardship the applicant would suffer to be the result of his own choices, and the circumstances of his non-compliance were within his control. The AAT also found the extent of the non-compliance, fifteen months on a Student visa while not enrolled in a course, to be significant.

The AAT affirmed the Department’s decision.

Read the full decision in AustLII.

 

[1] Condition 8202(2)(a) of Schedule 8 to the Migration Regulations 1994.

[2] Section 116(3) of the Migration Act 1958.