About the Case

In 2010, a client named Kanwardeep contacted Migration Solutions with an urgent request for assistance. Kanwardeep explained that he had recently discovered his wife’s application had been at the centre of a significant mix-up that had left the migration status of himself, his wife and their 3-year old daughter in an extremely vulnerable position, and which could result in them being forced to leave Australia if it could not be immediately rectified.

Kanwardeep’s wife Varinder had been studying for her Masters in Professional Accounting at the University of Ballarat in Victoria since 2006. Nearing completion of her course, Varinder decided to supplement her degree with a Certificate IV in Business Management in order to improve her qualifications, as well as providing her with an opportunity to improve her English enough to pass the IELTS exam and apply for permanent residency thereafter. After lodging their application with their previous migration agent and going months without hearing a response from either the Department or their agent, the couple became concerned and decided to follow up the status of their application.

Kanwardeep and Varinder were shocked to find out not only had the visa application been received by the Department, but had in fact been granted and since expired without them being notified by either the Department or their agent. With just days left until their migration status became unlawful, Kanwardeep contacted Migration Solutions to enquire whether there was anything we could do to prevent their family from being forced to leave Australia for reasons which were clearly outside of their control.


Mark and Vanessa with Kanwardeep and Varinder, who stopped by to express their thanks for all their help.

The Solution

With limited time to act, migration agent Nam Hoang contacted the department case officer to obtain an update on the status of the application. Despite receiving a prompt initial response from the Department that recommended the family lodge a second Student visa, Mr Hoang’s secondary request for information was not returned until one day after the 28-day response period with which they had been required to act, rendering the family’s migration status as technically unlawful.

In order to rectify the situation as quickly as possible, Mr Hoang advised the family to lodge a Tourist visa application in order to temporarily legalise their status in Australia. After discussing the problem with colleagues at Migration Solutions, Mr Hoang recommended the family consider appealing the decision at the Migration Review Tribunal, and if necessary, a request for Ministerial Intervention. The appeal would be based on both the misconduct of the previous migration agent and from the Department itself, who had both failed to notify the family as to the status of their application.

Despite already having lodged numerous visa applications in what was becoming an incredibly frustrating and drawn out process, the family were desperate to remain in Australia. For this reason, they decided to follow Mr Hoang’s recommendation to appeal the decision. From there, agents put together a submission to the MRT, and subsequently, the Minister, which would be strong enough to see the decision overturned.

Thankfully in June 2013 the Minister decided to intervene, granting the family a Student visa that enabled them to stay in Australia. Varinder went on to lodge and receive a Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 visa following the completion of her studies, and the family were finally granted permanent residency through a Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa in July 2013.

After three years of doubt and uncertainty, the family were thrilled that their young daughter would be able to grow up in Australia, the country which had been their home for the past seven years. They continue to stop past and thank the Migration Solutions team whenever they are in the area.

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