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Tribunal: Member N Goetz

The AAT remitted a decision of a delegate of the Minister for Immigration (the Department) to refuse to a subclass 600 family sponsored stream visitor visa. The Department had refused the visa because they were not satisfied the applicant would stay temporarily in Australia for the purpose for which the visa was granted.

In assessing whether the visa applicant genuinely intended to stay here temporarily on a family sponsored visit, the AAT considered the visa applicant’s background, travel history, whether she had previously complied with visa conditions and whether she would comply with any conditions subject to grant of the visa, among other things.

The applicant, a hairdresser from Kenya, stated that she had strong ties to her home country as most of her close family relations and friends resided there. However, in her application for a visitor visa, she also claimed her family members in Kenya were either in the process of migrating to Australia or were already Australian citizens or permanent residents.

This contradicted her claim of having close relatives back home providing an incentive for her to return to Kenya at the end of her stay in Australia. The AAT was concerned this was evidence of an effort to conceal adverse information about her family’s travel history. However, at the hearing, the applicant demonstrated she had complied with visa conditions in the past. There were further inconsistencies with the information about her employment but this was also resolved at the hearing.

After resolving these inconsistencies and assessing the visa applicant’s background, the AAT found that while the visa applicant had previously been employed in Kenya prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact that she wasn’t presently working did not necessarily mean she would be motivated to stay in Australia.

Given her past travel history to Europe and the Netherlands, the AAT also found that if she had been looking to stay somewhere permanently, she could have done so there.

Read the full decision