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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dear all,

My husband and I married in May 2011, I am an Australian Citizen and my husband is Indian, we applied for Spouse Visa, had our interview in Brisbane which was such a bad experience for both of us, the immi officer was so rude and intimidating comparing our situation with those of his past clients saying that I made a bad decision by marrying a Indian and that he was not a good person! anyway we got a letter a couple of months later saying that his visa was refused! and now we have applied to the Migration Review Tribunal. The letter we had received from the department of immigration stated that they believed we were not seen as a genuine married couple by society?! and other silly reasons such as this! and then they say we have to provide evidence to prove we are socially accepted ?! how do we do this?!

We submitted our application to MRT in Feb 2013 and still waiting can anyone who has been in this situation give us some tips on what we should do and what we should give them that have " alot of weight"

Thanks,
Mr&Mrs Singh
 

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I think part of the way they gauge the genuineness of a marriage is if the couple married with friends and family around (or at least celebrated with friends and family after), if they let friends and family know about their marriage, if they share a social circle (and provide evidence of that), etc.

I don't know enough about MRT to help you with that, but that's the kind of thing I imagine they were looking for and perhaps didn't find with your case?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
we had sent in photos from our wedding with pictures with friends and family plus pictures at work functions etc and statements from both families? i just feel that we were unfairly treated and he (the immigration officer) was biased and stereotyped my husband based on his nationality and he said so in the interview that he knows of many Indian men who marry for PR etc. We are planning to represent ourselves is this the best way to with it?
 

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A lawyer would probably be a better idea. But keep in mind MRT takes quite a long time. Hopefully Chicken999 will see this post - she's going through MRT, too.
 

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Thanks cg and I'm sorry u are also experiencing same problem as me. I am using a lawyer for my mrt it's expensive but there is a lot at stake. My case officer was ironically Indian and he was very racist against my Ghanaian fiancé. Pls read my posts for the story .
We have been waiting about 16 months for our hearing so far and a month ago we received news we finally had a mrt case officer and our case is now before the judge . We are hoping for a judgement without hearing but remains to be seen . What I suggest u do us drown them in evidence. If u message me ur email I will email u a list if what we submitted to mrt as evidence. About 7.8kg if evidence. Good luck and I'm sure u will do fine at the hearing
 

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Hi Medina -

Good points by Chicken999 - tons of evidence is what you need. I would also make sure that your agent (or you if you're doing this yourself) files a Freedom of Information act request for your entire DIAC file, and make sure to ask specifically for any recordings available of the interview! If the agent shows obvious bias, that may help you considerably. And remember that the MRT is essentially a new "decision", so relationship evidence that you accumulate about the relationship after the original refusal but before the MRT decision can be used.

Note: As you are at the MRT, you can make the request to the MRT for a copy of the DIAC file for your case - this is often faster than an official FOIA request to DIAC, however make sure you get the interview audio (you might have to do a FOIA for this, depending on how DIAC responds).

Best,

Mark Northam
 

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A lawyer would probably be a better idea. But keep in mind MRT takes quite a long time. Hopefully Chicken999 will see this post - she's going through MRT, too.
Hi CollegeGirl

Actually, a migration agent can go to the MRT-RRT but a lawyer cannot. So you need to find a migration lawyer who is also registered as a migration agent.

PC
 

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Correct Problem Child - anyone who provides migration advice in Australia, even if they're a lawyer, must be registered as a migration agent, so migration agents and lawyers registered as migration agents can attend MRT hearings with clients. That being said, the bulk of the work is usually done in advance of the hearing making arguments related to the law and regulations, citing other supporting cases, etc in a detailed submission accompanying any additional evidence that may be provided. Only if the MRT member is not convinced by the submission and accompanying information is there a hearing scheduled, where there is a further opportunity to present information and answer questions from the MRT member.

Best,

Mark Northam
 

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Correct Problem Child - anyone who provides migration advice in Australia, even if they're a lawyer, must be registered as a migration agent, so migration agents and lawyers registered as migration agents can attend MRT hearings with clients. That being said, the bulk of the work is usually done in advance of the hearing making arguments related to the law and regulations, citing other supporting cases, etc in a detailed submission accompanying any additional evidence that may be provided. Only if the MRT member is not convinced by the submission and accompanying information is there a hearing scheduled, where there is a further opportunity to present information and answer questions from the MRT member.

Best,

Mark Northam
Hi Mark

Many migration lawyers who are not registered as a migration agent run migration cases in the Federal Circuit Courts, the Federal Court and the High Court. Their advice is not defined as 'migration advice' but advice they provide in migration cases is the same as 'migration advice' plus more. Nevertheless, they cannot go to the MRT-RRT.

So if you are going to the MRT-RRT and you want to hire a lawyer, you need to find one who is also registered as a migration agent. Otherwise, you can retain a migration lawyer who is not a migration agent.

PC
 

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Hi PC -

Correct again. You've hit upon an important distinction in Australian law. "Migration Advice" and "Legal Advice" are two very different things. My point was to clarify that if a person is seeking advice with an MRT matter, they can either engage a registered migration agent, or a lawyer who is also a registered migration agent - I think we're on the same page now -

Best,

Mark Northam
 

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Thanks, ProblemChild and Mark! I thought I had read somewhere that it was a "lawyer" who had to accompany one to MRT.... I'm REALLY glad to know that's not the case, as I'd much rather have a migration agent who knows way more about migration law with me if it were me! Thanks to you both. :)
 

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Thanks, ProblemChild and Mark! I thought I had read somewhere that it was a "lawyer" who had to accompany one to MRT.... I'm REALLY glad to know that's not the case, as I'd much rather have a migration agent who knows way more about migration law with me if it were me! Thanks to you both. :)
Hi CG

I agree. f you have a non-contentious case, I think a good migration agent is always the best for the Tribunal. But then, if you have a non-contentious case, you would not be in the Tribunal in the first place.

Although the Tribunal advertises that it is an independent body, the truth is that it is a branch of the Department of Immigration and its members are appointed for a five year fixed term. It is well-known that if a member set aside more than 20% of the Department's decisions, their contract is not to be renewed. So in order to protect their job, they have to affirm at least 80% of the Department's decisions. Basically, their default position is to affirm the decision under review.

If you take these facts into consideration, then you may want to consider the option of engaging a lawyer who is also a migration agent and is used to both attending the Tribunal and appearing in court. It is only my guess but the Tribunal is more likely to be prepared to set aside the Department's decisions if they are made aware that unless otherwise, the Court will set aside their decisions. It's just a guess.

Of course, since there are not many lawyers who are dealing with the MRT-RRT and the court constantly, it may be difficult to find one of them anyway. But, yet, you may want to consider.

PC
 

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Although the Tribunal advertises that it is an independent body, the truth is that it is a branch of the Department of Immigration and its members are appointed for a five year fixed term. It is well-known that if a member set aside more than 20% of the Department's decisions, their contract is not to be renewed. So in order to protect their job, they have to affirm at least 80% of the Department's decisions. Basically, their default position is to affirm the decision under review.
Hi ProblemChild, this is entirely new to me but very interesting to learn; I would be so grateful if you would be so kind as to pass on a link or something to this information.
 

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Hi ProblemChild, this is entirely new to me but very interesting to learn; I would be so grateful if you would be so kind as to pass on a link or something to this information.
Hi Adventuress

Probably you can find the terms of appointment on the MRT-RRT site but I have not checked. If you keep checking the job advertisement of the MRT-RRT, you will definitely see the terms of appointment next time when the MRT-RRT advertises its member.

As for the 20% threshold, high profile human rights activists from time to time mentioned it in TV programs. You will find someone's statement if you search transcripts of past programs tirelessly at abc.net.au.

As for the independence of tribunals in Australia, I remember someone wrote a legal article. If you have access to Informit, you can search with the keywords, 'independence' and 'tribunal'. Unfortunately, I do not have access to that database at this moment so that I cannot search for you.

Sorry, I cannot be of much help. As you appreciate, this kind of information is a sort of open secret amongst the legal circle in this country and is not something which the Department publicises. So you have to collect a bit here and a bit there.

PC
 

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I wanted to chime in here and agree 100% with PC's comments - I have heard, from multiple sources I respect inside and outside the MRT/RRT regime, the very same figures. These are the kinds of "quotas" that are rarely if ever formalised officially (somewhat akin I would suspect to traffic ticket quotas for police officers), but most informed people in the industry know they exist and can see the results of.

Best,

Mark Northam
 

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Hi Adventuress

Probably you can find the terms of appointment on the MRT-RRT site but I have not checked. If you keep checking the job advertisement of the MRT-RRT, you will definitely see the terms of appointment next time when the MRT-RRT advertises its member.

As for the 20% threshold, high profile human rights activists from time to time mentioned it in TV programs. You will find someone's statement if you search transcripts of past programs tirelessly at abc.net.au.

As for the independence of tribunals in Australia, I remember someone wrote a legal article. If you have access to Informit, you can search with the keywords, 'independence' and 'tribunal'. Unfortunately, I do not have access to that database at this moment so that I cannot search for you.

Sorry, I cannot be of much help. As you appreciate, this kind of information is a sort of open secret amongst the legal circle in this country and is not something which the Department publicises. So you have to collect a bit here and a bit there.

PC
Thank you for this, any bits and pieces are useful. I will follow up when I have the time and post here if I can find anything substantial. I also have a growing collection of things like this, to make a strong case against this department. In time I will be starting a thread about this here.
 

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I wanted to chime in here and agree 100% with PC's comments - I have heard, from multiple sources I respect inside and outside the MRT/RRT regime, the very same figures. These are the kinds of "quotas" that are rarely if ever formalised officially (somewhat akin I would suspect to traffic ticket quotas for police officers), but most informed people in the industry know they exist and can see the results of.

Best,

Mark Northam
Thanks for the confirmation, Mark, very good to know.
 
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