Skip to content

Tribunal Member: Amanda Mendes Da Costa

The Distinguished Talent (Residence) visa requires the applicant to have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in a profession, sport, the arts or academia.[1] Other requirements include that the applicant be prominent in their area of choice, that they are an asset to the Australian community, and that they would have no difficulty in obtaining employment in Australia.

The AAT was asked to review the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s decision to refuse the applicant a visa for her achievement and contributions to the arts.

Having worked as an actress and writer in New York, the applicant came to Australia where she thought there would be better opportunities for her to advance her career as a director and writer. The applicant had a number of acting roles, directed a play and established a production company through which she produced her own plays in small theatres and at arts festivals.

The AAT accepted that the applicant was a gifted artist and that her achievements in theatre and short films in Australia had received critical acclaim. However, the AAT found that the applicant’s achievements had primarily been achieved in Australia and not overseas. The performance reviews provided by the applicant were published in Australian arts publications and there was no evidence before the AAT of any international recognition for her achievements.

The AAT affirmed the decision not to grant the visa.

Read the full decision on AustLII.


[1] Clause 858.212(1) of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations 1994