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The importance of attention to detail and using Special Counsel at AAT Hearings

The Applicant arrived in Australia on a Subclass 676 Tourist visa with a condition 8503 (no further stay) imposed on the visa. Upon living in Australia the Applicant applied for a Protection (Class XA) visa on the basis of political persecution, and membership of a particular social group in his home country.

During this time the Applicant and Sponsor met and began a genuine and committed relationship. Shortly after the start of the relationship the Applicants 676 Tourist visa ceases and the Applicant was asked to attend an interview with the DIBP regarding his protection claims. However, DIBP refused the Protection visa (Class XA) put forward by the Applicant.

The Applicant decided to apply for a review of DIBP’s decision at the (then) RRT with is previous migration agent and was granted a bridging visa for this period. The RRT affirmed the decision not to grant the Applicants visa.

The Applicant and Sponsor marry during this time and the Sponsor is  diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The Applicants migration agent advises the Applicant to apply for a combined (Subclass 820/801) Partner visa which is found invalid due to his previous 8503 condition imposed on the Tourist visa. The Applicant then submits a request to the DIBP to waive condition 8503 however, the waiver request is refused.

It is at this time that the Applicant sought the help of the dedicated team at Immigration Solutions Lawyers. The Applicant instructs Immigration Solutions to submit a second 8503 waiver request on the basis of the Sponsor’s deteriorating health.

Immigration Solutions were successful in obtaining the waiver for the 8503 condition therefore allowing the Applicant and Sponsor to apply for their second combined (Subclass 820/801) Partner visa. The Applicant and Sponsor lodged the combined partner visa application without the assistance of Immigration Solutions.

The Applicant was notified within a year of lodgment that their application had been refused by the DIBP.

The Applicant returned to Immigration Solutions and instructed the team to lodge a review of the DIBP’s decision to refuse his Partner Visa application to the AAT. The Applicant was then called to a hearing regarding the Partner visa. Immigration Solutions were able to provide the necessary compelling evidence to prove that the Applicant and Sponsor were in a genuine and committed relationship and that the Applicant needed to remain in Australia to look after his sick Sponsor. Being forced to leave the country would inflict significant emotional, psychological, physical and financial hardship on the Applicant as well as the Sponsor.

The Applicant and Sponsor had grown to rely on each other significantly and would have experienced significant financial hardship if the Applicant was forced to leave the country. Immigration Solutions were successful in securing the grant of a Subclass 820 Partner (Temporary) (class UK) and a Subclass 801 Partner (Permanent) visa for the Applicant.

Role of special counsel

A special counsel is not just about having a fancy title. Special counsels will play different roles depending on the firm and field of law. They have been described by Andrew Crockett as generally lawyers with a high level of technical expertise and extensive experience in a particular area.[1]

Immigration Solutions Lawyers is one of the leading immigration law firms in Australia. Headed by managing director and Special Counsel Anne O’Donoghue, the firm has over 23 years of experience. It is important for every applicant to source experienced legal talent. Applicants must endeavour to use Special Counsel in Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Litigation cases to ensure the best possible outcome. Our legal team covers an extensive area of expertise in Immigration Law, dealing with highly complicated matters with proven results.

To read more about Immigration Solutions Lawyers click here.

[1] I Want Your Job: Q&A With Andrew Crockett, Special Counsel At Whittens & Mckeough (2015) .

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