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Tribunal: Member R Gagliardi

The AAT affirmed the decision of a delegate of the Minister for Immigration refusing to grant the applicant a visitor visa. The Tribunal found the applicant was highly mobile and once here there were no strong incentives for her to return to Vietnam.

The applicant was a 37-year-old living with her parents in Ho Chi Minh City. She had applied for the visa to visit her sister, who sponsored the application, along with other family already living in Australia.

The Tribunal looked at the applicant’s past behaviour to help determine whether she truly intended to visit on a temporary basis. The Tribunal considered, among other things, whether she had met the conditions of any earlier visas and what incentives there were for her to return home.

The applicant had previously lived in Australia as a student, but over 14 years went from course to course, failing to gain a qualification. Rather than returning home when it became clear she did not enjoy or was not suited to studying, the applicant continued to explore her visa options to stay. First applying to the (then) Migration Review Tribunal and when unsuccessful, asking the Minister to intervene, presumably on humanitarian or compassionate grounds.

The Tribunal concluded the applicant had frequently enrolled in new courses to maintain an ongoing presence in Australia and was highly motivated to remain here regardless of the conditions of her visa.

The applicant and her sister argued she was young at the time, returned to Vietnam when asked and should be allowed a second chance. They outlined the significant family support available to the applicant, including savings and emphasised her links to Vietnam through her work in her brother’s store.

The Tribunal noted the applicant earned a relatively good salary for someone living in their family home, however the Tribunal found the retail role was not compelling enough for her to return. The Tribunal acknowledged the applicant was more mature, however this also meant she was more independent and freer to start a life in any country she wished.

The Tribunal, while agreeing everyone deserves a second chance, was ultimately not satisfied the applicant had strong enough roots in Vietnam to draw her back there after visiting Australia. 

Read the full decision