Compassion and knowledge of the application process lead to a successful protection visa application

July 29, 2016 - Unreported Cases

Australia’s open society, characterised by democracy and civil freedoms, makes it a kind of safe haven for people who face persecution in their country of origin.

The Applicant was a citizen of an African country which had been torn apart by a civil war that continued for more than a decade. She first arrived in Australia on a scholarship to pursue post-graduate studies. Many of her family members in her country of citizenship were respected members and supporters of a secretive, traditionalist society relating to sensitive female issues. Fearing for her own safety and that of her daughter, she approached Immigration Solutions Lawyers for assistance lodging a protection visa.

A Protection visa (subclass 866) is intended for refugees already in Australia who believe they are in need of Australia’s protection. According to the policy guidelines of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), a refugee is a person who has a well-founded fear of persecution for one or more of the five reasons stated in Article 1A(2) of the Refugee Convention. These grounds are race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

Immigration Solutions Lawyers prepared a detailed written submission, arguing that the Applicant would face serious harm, as well as systematic discriminatory practices if she were required to return to her home country because she is an indigenous woman. Framing it by reference to the law, the Applicant would face serious harm as a result of her membership of a social group, that group being women. This submission was supported by documentary evidence, including statutory declarations from the Applicant, her associates and social workers; a psychologist report; letters from family members threatening violence; and news articles detailing the society’s practices in her country of origin.

Satisfied of the veracity of the Applicant’s claims, the DIBP granted her protection visa in just five months. The Applicant and her children are now permanent residents in Australia.

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