TRIBUNAL: Member M Urquhart
The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) refused to grant the visa applicants’ sponsored family visitor visas and their sponsor (the couple’s daughter) applied for review of those decisions.
The visa applicants were required to satisfy the Department that they genuinely intend to stay temporarily in Australia. However the Department was not satisfied this was the case.
Evidence provided by the couple included pension income, payroll information, a letter from their church, birth certificates for their biological daughters (aged 16 and 20) and verification of their land lease (most land in Ethiopia is only available on lease).
The AAT considered whether the visa applicants intended to comply with all conditions, not just whether they intended to stay in Australia temporarily and found they met most conditions. However, the AAT was not satisfied the visa applicants would return to Ethiopia after their permitted stay.
The AAT found the visa applicant’s recent return to work after retirement gave him little incentive to return to Ethiopia for career reasons.
The AAT also had regard to country information from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which indicated Ethiopia experiences ongoing political upheaval, sectarian tensions, lawlessness and ethnic violence. That along with food insecurity, poverty and lack of economic opportunity, could also deter the visa applicants’ return.
The AAT found having a 16 year old daughter at home in Ethiopia was not motivation enough to prompt their return.
The AAT was not satisfied the visa applicants genuinely intended to stay temporarily in Australia and affirmed the decision not to grant the visas.
Read the full decision