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Tribunal: Deputy President J Redfern

The AAT affirmed a decision of a delegate of the then Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (the Department) to refuse to grant the applicant a protection visa.

The applicant sought protection on the basis that she suffered domestic abuse in Albania and feared further harm from the perpetrator if she returned. She claimed to have been in a relationship with an abusive partner for over ten years, which ended in 2002. After living in hiding for three years, she travelled to Australia in 2005. She claimed domestic violence was tolerated in Albania and authorities would not protect her as women were expected to stay in one relationship for their entire lives.

In Australia, the applicant claimed to have started a relationship with person A who had been sponsored on a partner visa application by the applicant’s sister. Person A and his three children had acquired Australian citizenship by conferral in 2006.

The AAT was not satisfied with the credibility of the applicant’s claims and did not accept she had been in a relationship with an abusive ex-partner for an extended period.

The Tribunal relied on a report of an investigation by the Department, which uncovered records at an Albanian civil registry indicating the applicant and person A were married and had been in a marital relationship for some time. The Department also received information suggesting the relationship between the applicant’s sister and person A was contrived and the children were in fact the applicant’s biological children.

The Tribunal found that the applicant had failed to satisfactorily address the adverse information put to her.

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