Orphan Relative Visa

Problem

We were approached by our client following an unsuccessful attempt to apply for an Orphan Relative visa. 

The Orphan relative visa was refused because the Department of Immigration believed that at the time of application, the visa applicant was over the age of 18. Orphan relative visa applicants must be under the age of 18 at the time the visa application is lodged. 

A review of the decision was sought with the Migration Review Tribunal. 

Facts

Documents providing with the initial visa application contained information in support of our clients claimed age. The Department of Immigration noted that these documents were based on information provided by visa applicants rather than being based on any official records which are often non-existent in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

On this basis, the Department of Immigration expressed concern that document fraud is well established in Pakistan and Afghanistan and documents emanating from Quetta are notoriously unreliable.

As there was no further evidence to verify the ages of our client, the Department of Immigration considered other means to help verify the age of our client and using photographic evidence obtained during the interview, assessments made by two senior migration officers based in Dubai and from the panel doctor who undertakes medicals for Afghani nationals seeking to travel to Australia from Pakistan.

The medical officer assessed the age of our client to be between 26 and 31 years of age. The other migration officers determined that our client’s age is between 26 and 35 years of age, and with these types of assessments our client was in a position where his visa could not be approved. It was noted by the Department of Immigration the probability the initial photograph submitted with the visa application had been photoshopped.

Our client had lived a difficult life in Quetta and that the associated stress in living in such conditions could have appeared to aggravate our client’s physical appearance. This claim was supported by research data from the scientific community.  The probability the Tribunal was going to accept this argument was relatively low as further evidence was required to establish our client’s credibility as a truthful applicant. 

After further investigation on our end, it was discovered that our client’s sister who lives in Australia originally entered the country on a Humanitarian visa in 2005. In this application, she had listed our client’s name and date of birth. The Tribunal accepted this to be the most significant piece of evidence in support of the finding that our client was under the age of 18, which is the declaration in our client’s elder sister’s Humanitarian visa file. 

This information was consistent with the information provided in the current application which was filed well before any consideration would have been made for our client’s visa.

Outcome

The Migration Review Tribunal remitted the application for an Orphan Relative visa for reconsideration that our client met the criteria for the grant of an Orphan Relative visa.