• Health waiver: videotape evidence

  • Background

    This is a case in which our client, her mother, two older brothers and grandfather were all nominated by our client’s father to come to Australia where he had established a successful business.  They had all met the visa requirements except for one, which was that our client did not meet all the ‘public interest’ health criteria.  Our client had some serious medical problems as well as some cognitive difficulties.

    Immigration took the view that our client would cost Australia too much in medical expenses and that she would be unlikely to get employment.  Our client was given the opportunity to comment on Immigration’s view before a final decision was made.  Despite affidavits and financial evidence being submitted that showed that our client’s family would ensure that all medical costs were paid for by them, Immigration still refused the visa.

    Our involvement

    This was a very complex case which involved an in-depth understanding of the medical and financial evidence presented and a precise interpretation of government policy. We lodged an application for review at the Migration Review Tribunal in which we made detailed submissions on the overall lifetime charge to Australian public funds, the potential for the applicant’s state of health to deteriorate, the educational and occupational needs of the client, the prospects for the applicant in Australia over the whole period of intended stay, the available private care and support and the extent of social welfare, medical, hospital or other care likely to be required.

    In addition to our legal arguments we took extra steps to ensure that the Tribunal member would be persuaded by our evidence.  We submitted letters of support for the application by a Senator and an MP.  We also submitted a videotape of our client doing household chores along with a statutory declaration from one of our staff about the tape with comments and notes for the Tribunal to consider.  The extra efforts which we make at Brett Slater solicitors is sometimes what makes all the difference.  The Tribunal ruled in our favour and our client’s application was allowed.