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Tribunal: Member Alison Murphy

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) cancelled the applicants’ protection visas on 10 April 2017.

The applicants, a husband and wife who arrived in Australia from Iran in May 2010, identified themselves as stateless Faili Kurds. The applicants applied to the AAT for a review of the Department’s decision.

The Department may cancel a visa if the visa holder provided incorrect information in their visa application.[1] The Department cancelled the applicants’ visas on this basis after becoming aware of information indicating that the applicants were Iranian citizens and not stateless as they claimed in their visa applications.

The Department found that the applicant husband’s brother used an apparently genuine Iranian passport to enter and exit Iran in 2013. The Department noted Iranian citizenship is acquired by descent through a person’s father. The Department reasoned that, because the applicant husband and his brother have the same father and the brother is an Iranian citizen, then the applicant husband was also an Iranian citizen and not stateless as claimed.

The applicants claimed that they were not citizens of Iran but that they left the country in 2010 with fraudulently obtained genuine Iranian passports. They claimed the applicant husband’s brother also obtained his passport fraudulently by paying a significant amount of money.

The AAT was unable to be satisfied that either of the applicants were Iranian citizens as alleged by the Department. The AAT reached this conclusion for a number of reasons including a lack of evidence about the applicants’ Iranian citizenship status. In particular, the AAT was not satisfied that the evidence established the applicant husband’s father was an Iranian citizen.

The AAT was not satisfied the applicants gave incorrect information to the Department. The AAT set aside the Department’s decision and substituted a decision to not cancel the visas.

Read the full decision on AustLII.


[1] Section 109 and subsection 101(b) of the Migration Act 1958, see paragraph 7 of the full decision for a complete explanation.