Tribunal: Member Susan Trotter
A delegate of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection refused the visa applicant a Child visa.
The visa applicant was 18 years old and lived in a rural area in Vietnam with her father and brother. Her mother arrived in Australia when she was approximately 14 and is an Australian permanent resident.
The Migration Regulations 1994 (Regulations) allow a visa applicant who has turned 18 to apply for a Child visa if they are dependent on a parent who is an Australian permanent resident or citizen. The visa applicant needs to meet a number of requirements outlined in the Regulations to be considered a dependent child. The requirement that was the issue in this matter was if the visa applicant was wholly or substantially reliant on her mother for financial support to meet her basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. This needs to be the case not only at the time of the visa application and review but also for a substantial period immediately before the visa application was made.
The requirement also states that the visa applicant must have been relying on her mother more than on any other person. This was an issue because the visa applicant was also receiving financial support from her father. The visa applicant claimed that her father was only home approximately two days a week because he had remarried and spent most of his time with his wife. The visa applicant claimed that her father only paid for her shelter and some of her food costs. She claimed that her mother had been sending her money from Australia, which she used to pay for clothing, school fees, transport costs, food for breakfast and lunch at least six days per week, and sometimes for evening meals.
The Tribunal accepted the visa applicant’s evidence. There was documentary evidence of many money transfers from the mother to the visa applicant throughout 2016. The Tribunal also accepted that the mother provided money directly to the visa applicant when she visited Vietnam on multiple occasions.
The Tribunal stated they could not consider the other expenses covered by the mother, such as school fees and transport costs, because the Regulations limit financial support to the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.
The Tribunal stated that the father’s main financial contribution was providing shelter to the visa applicant through a home. The Tribunal noted that the cost of a home in rural Vietnam was likely quite modest.
The Tribunal found that it was clear the visa applicant could consistently rely on her mother for whatever she needed including food, clothing and other expenses.
Taking all the matters into account, the Tribunal found that the visa applicant was dependent on her mother. The Tribunal remitted the application back to the Department for reconsideration.
Read the full written decision on AustLII.
 Part 101.211 of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations 1994