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Tribunal: Member Cathrine Burnett-Wake

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (The Department) refused to grant the applicant a Distinguished Talent (Residence) (Class BX) Subclass 858 visa on 29 April 2016.

The Distinguished Talent visa is issued to individuals with an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in a number of areas, the relevant area in this case being sport, specifically Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.[1] There are a number of requirements that applicants need to meet, including that the individual is still prominent in the area, would be an asset to the Australian community and would have no difficulty in obtaining employment, or in becoming established independently in Australia in the area.[2] The individual also must provide a record of achievement that has been attested to by an Australian citizen, permanent resident, eligible New Zealand citizen or an Australian organisation.

The applicant was a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter who competed, coached and refereed at an elite level in addition to operating a successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Mandurah, Western Australia. The applicant claimed that he had competed at national and international level, winning National championships in Brazil and Pan Pacific championships. In addition, he had coached competitions at national and international levels, including world champions, and refereed national and international competitions.

The applicant provided a range of material including a detailed submission covering his career, statements from colleagues, students, and from the heads of sporting associations. The applicant also presented evidence of successful participation in a number of International Championships, most recently in Australia in 2018 where the applicant won silver and bronze medals in his black belt division.

Having regard to the evidence before it, including the applicant’s achievements in the above-mentioned international competitions, documented achievements in domestic competitions as well as the significant recognition of the applicant’s skills by his peers in the sport, the AAT accepted that the applicant had an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The AAT was satisfied that the applicant’s sporting achievements and ongoing commitment to the sport as a teacher, coach and instructor indicated that he had made a substantial contribution to his sport and remained prominent as a proponent of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The evidence before the AAT indicated that there was significant support within the Australian community for the applicant’s skills and abilities and support from the Australian Federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Given the applicant’s active positive contribution over the last several years in Australia, and his commitment to continue if his visa were to be granted, the AAT was satisfied that the applicant was, and would continue to be, an asset to the community.

The AAT accepted that the applicant would have no difficulty in obtaining employment or indeed becoming established independently in Australia in the area of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaching and instruction, as demonstrated.

The applicant also provided a record of achievement attested to by Mr Luis Fabio De Andrade Nunes, Director of the Australian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.

The AAT found that the applicant met the requirements in question. The AAT remitted the application to the Department to consider the remaining criteria for subclass 858 visas.

Read the full decision on AustLII.


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

[2] See paragraph 7 of the full decision