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TRIBUNAL: Member Peter Haag

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) affirmed a decision not to grant the applicant a protection visa as the Tribunal was not satisfied that he would face a real chance of serious harm on return to his home country.

The applicant, who claimed to be a citizen of China, was denied a protection visa. The Department was not satisfied they were a genuine refugee or that there was a real risk of significant harm if he was returned to China.

When reviewing the decision, the AAT heard from the applicant that, prior to coming to Australia, he and his wife opened a business in China which failed for financial reasons. He then borrowed funds to help revive the business but ultimately fell further into debt which he could not repay. The funds were acquired through an unlicensed money lender (“loan-shark”) who the applicant claimed both threatened and exacted physical harm towards him on several occasions.  

He further claimed that borrowing from an unlicensed moneylender is illegal in China so he could not rely on the authorities to protect him from the threatened harm, including assault, torture and being killed. He also asserted that he did not relocate or attempt to relocate to another part of China because he believed he would be found and killed.

After considering the evidence, the AAT was not satisfied the applicant was a genuine refugee and owed protection by Australia. The Tribunal was also not satisfied he was entitled to complementary protection as a member of the same family unit as a person who met the criteria for a protection visa.

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