Ministerial Intervention Case Study

The Problem

In 2008 Migration Solutions was engaged by a client who wished to lodge a Remaining Relative Visa in order to bring his son to Australia and secure the necessary medical care he required for his condition of epilepsy, the treatment for which was not available to him in his native country of the Phillipines.

Despite the client having been an Australian citizen since 1988 and the rest of his family all residing in Australia, the client’s application was denied on the grounds of not meeting the necessary health criteria due to his son’s epileptic condition. In a statement provided to the Department of Immigration, the Medical Officer of the Commonwealth deemed the applicant’s predicted medical fees “to be of significant cost to the community,” despite no actual figure of the predicted costs being specified.

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Mark and Vanessa with the client and his family following their successful submission.

How we were able to help

The vagueness of the report made it almost impossible for agents to appeal the verdict; however the staff at Migration Solutions was determined to leave no stone unturned in their quest to re-unite the client’s family. Migration Coordinator and case officer Vanessa De Pretis decided to request an independent costing be conducted as to the applicant’s projected medical costs in order to determine the exact amount the son’s condition would be likely to cost, after the initial medical officers refused to provide the information. The findings showed that if properly managed, the applicant’s long-term medical expenses would in fact be minimal, and would be greatly outweighed by his potential economic contribution to South Australia if granted permanent residency. Agents then took these findings to the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT), but were again denied due to bureaucratic red tape.

As a final measure, Migration Solutions encouraged the client to pursue the case through to the final step of appeal; ministerial intervention. As a result of the extensive evidence and independent costing Migration Solutions had gathered to support the applicant’s case, the Minister decided to overturn the MRT’s decision by granting the applicant permanent residency.

Understandably, the client was overjoyed to hear after five years of uncertainty that he would be reunited with his son.

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