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Recent Cases

Couple Obtains Schedule 3 Waiver for Partner Visa at AAT after Federal Circuit Court Victory

In a recent case, a partner visa applicant who had been refused an onshore subclass 820/801 Partner Visa due to lack of compelling reasons, and later had his refusal affirmed by the AAT came to us for assistance after the Federal Circuit Court decided that the AAT had made a legal error. We created new legal submission for the AAT reconsideration hearing and were able to achieve a victory for the client at the AAT who, on reconsideration, decided that the client and sponsor met the Schedule 3 waiver requirements regarding compelling reasons.

“We have a great deal of experience with the Schedule 3 criteria for onshore partner visas both at the DIBP level and at the AAT level, and know these cases can be challenging for applicants as the opinion of the decision maker about what is ‘compelling’, a term that has no legal definition in the migration law, is often a central issue. We knew this client realistically had one chance left to achieve success at the AAT and we were very happy that the AAT decided to rule in the client’s favour after considering our submission package and the oral testimony at the hearing. This couple had their entire future in Australia on the line, and I’m thrilled we were able to achieve a positive outcome for them.“ — Mark Northam

Outcome: The case was successful at the AAT and the Client was given a waiver of the Schedule 3 requirements.

Northam & Associates Wins Character Cancellation Case – Visa Holder Avoids Cancellation of 23-Year PR Visa, Removal and Lifetime Travel Ban to Australia

In a recent successful case, the client had served 3 short prison sentences for violating an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) related to an on-again, off-again relationship with a former girlfriend, including an incident involving accidental injury with a knife. The Client had been issued a previous cancellation notice and formal warning by DIAC, but after the third prison sentence received a second Notice of Intention to Consider Cancellation his PR visa, which he had held for 23 years. The visa holder arrived in Australia 23 years ago at the age of 4 with his family and had no contacts or family in his home country.

Faced with the immediate threat of being removed from Australia and prohibited from returning to Australia for the rest of his life, the visa holder selected Northam & Associates to prepare his defense. We researched the immigration laws and regulations that applied to his situation and prepared a 150-page submission detailing the reasons why the visa holder should not have his visa cancelled, including statements from family, friends, former employers, plus extensive court documents, case law and legal precedents that applied to his situation.

“This case was one of the most important cases we’ve worked on because if we couldn’t win the case, the client was facing immigration detention, removal from Australia, and a lifetime ban on travel to Australia where all of his family lives and where he’s lived since age 4. Character based cancellations are serious issues, and we knew we had to use every possible way to show that despite some bad judgement related to a troubled long-term relationship, our Client was a person who had turned his life around and deserved to remain in Australia with his family. “ — Mark Northam

Outcome: The case was successful and the client was allowed to remain in Australia.

Northam & Associates Successful In Obtaining 8503 Waiver – Couple Facing Violence and Hatred in Home Country Allowed to Remain in Australia and Lodge Partner Visa Application

In this case, the client was a highly successful contemporary artist whose home had been vandalised and destroyed in his come country because he chose a career in contemporary art that was not in practice with the conservative religious nature of the rural area he lived in, and had a Western partner. After an initial refusal of a waiver of Condition 8503 which was preventing him from lodging an onshore partner visa in Australia, and facing the prospect of having to return home to the violence, the visa holder contacted Northam & Associates who prepared a new, comprehensive 8503 waiver submission including complete references to all applicable migration law.

“Our client had already lost his home and his possessions when they were vandlised and destroyed by locals in his rural home town. While Condition 8503 waivers are not easy to get, especially after 1 refusal, we believed that this client had a very compelling story that, when combined with a comprehensive submission, would be successful. The alternative of having to depart Australia without his partner and returning to the kind of hatred and violence he had already endured was just not acceptable and we had to do everything we could.” — Mark Northam

Outcome: The waiver request was successful and the client was allowed to remain in Australia and lodge an onshore partner visa application.

Student Visa Success: Applicant Granted New Student Visa After Substantial Non-Study Period

Our client who came from a high-risk country was studying at a challenging school and, like many students, found himself struggling to keep up with his studies due to language issues and a very challenging academic program. A sudden medical condition resulted in the student having to take an extended period of time off from his studies, after which he became concerned about re-entering studies as he felt he was too far behind. He became depressed and dropped out of school without notifying immigration officials. Over a year later he came to us to assist him when after lodging a new student visa application he was asked a number of questions about his extended period of non-study without notice.

“This client had spent many months dreading his return to studies, and was very concerned that he would not be granted a further visa because he had taken a long time away from school without notifying DIAC. We helped gather all applicable documents and put together a detailed submission about his period of non-study, including his issues with keeping up with a challenging academic program.” — Mark Northam

Outcome: The client was granted his new student visa and allowed to remain in Australia to continue his studies.

Fiance Visa Cancellation Avoided

We were approached on a Friday by a client whose fiance had mistakenly missed the must-enter-by date on her prospective marriage visa and was facing automatic visa cancellation as a result of this breach of her visa conditions. As it had been several weeks since the deadline passed, our team went into action immediately and worked with the client over the weekend to develop a waiver submission with supporting documentation to appeal to the Minister not to cancel the visa. The waiver was lodged first thing Monday and was granted within 3 weeks, allowing the client’s fiance to avoid a costly visa cancellation that could have delayed their wedding up to a year.

“This was a case where we needed to move quickly to avoid cancellation of a visa due to Condition 8504 as it had been weeks since they missed the deadline to activate her visa. We worked closely with the client and his fiance to develop a detailed submission with verifiable evidence and details to show that the client’s mistake was inadvertent and there were valid reasons not to cancel the visa.” — Mark Northam

Outcome: The client’s fiance was granted permission to enter Australia and her visa was not cancelled.

Client With Seriously Ill Partner Granted Partner Visa in 1 Week

Our client’s partner was suffering with a serious illness and was facing a period of hospitalisation of an unknown length of time when they wanted to lodge their partner visa application. We assisted with the application and created a special submission with accompanying documents for the Department of Immigration and Border protection to ask for expedited processing in light of worsening health situation of the partner.

“The usual 9 to 12 month wait for a partner visa application would have a bad situation worse for this client and her partner. The worsening health situation of her partner would have only been made worse by months of waiting to see whether a partner visa would be approved. This is one of those situations where the quality of a person’s life in difficult times becomes the central focus. We’re glad that DIBP saw things our way and granted the visa quickly, allowing our client and her partner to avoid months of uncertainty at a challenging time for them.” — Mark Northam

Outcome: The client was granted her partner visa within 1 week of application.