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jejuniper

Spouse visa refusal - MRT process?

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Hi there,

 

I'm an Australian citizen by birth and my husband is a US citizen ... so although we're not Poms, I keep seeing this site pop up in my searches so thought I would post here and see if anyone can share any advice.

 

We've been married 3 years during which time we've been living together in the US. I really want to go home as I'm very homesick and miss my family and friends in Australia and we don't really have any close friends or family where we live here. We visited Australia for a month at the end of 2008 and my husband loved it and is happy to move. We would also like to start a family and I would find it very hard without my Australian family around. We applied for a spouse visa in July 2009 but it was refused a couple of weeks ago because my husband has ulcerative colitis and a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth said he would potentially cost $100,000. He is in remission and perfectly able to work, he just has to take medication.

 

We had put through a health waiver request but that was refused and I'm not exactly sure why - the letter we received didn't state which compelling and compassionate circumstances were considered or not, just that they decided not to exercise the waiver. I had put together a lot of information about our financial situation (which I believe is good, we own a house and have savings) and job prospects (my occupation is listed on the NEW skilled occupations list and my husband's was on the old one which was in effect at the time we applied), had six statutory declarations from family and friends stating that they'd be willing to provide care and support, and I also included a statement about wanting to start a family and how it would affect me emotionally if I wasn't able to return home.

 

After getting the refusal I was so devastated that I rang the case officer and asked her if she could give me a better explanation of why it was refused - she sounded very flustered and just kept saying "it's the cost, it's the cost". When I said "but I'm an Australian citizen and you're basically telling me I can't live in Australia", she just said "you can live in the USA". I guess I was naive in thinking that the health waiver is exercised as a matter of course for spousal relationships. After doing some research online and stumbling across a 2007 Australian National Audit Office report on DIAC's administration of the health waiver process, it appears it's only exercised around 12% of the time.

 

We are now applying to the Migration Review Tribunal and I wanted to find out if anyone knows anything about the process. Is it something we can do ourselves or would we definitely be better off getting the assistance of a lawyer? I have sent off the form and just received a letter and receipt today which stated I should send in evidence as soon as possible. I had spoken to an Australian lawyer over the phone prior to sending the application off and he said I should wait before sending any evidence. Is that right? What do I need to do next, do I just ask the Australian Embassy here to give me a copy of our DIAC file? I'm just not sure what the steps are - I had a look at the MRT website but I couldn't find anything which laid out the exact steps that would occur. If anyone can offer any assistance or clarification about the MRT process or point me in the right direction, I would very much appreciate it, as this whole thing has made me very frustrated and anxious. I just want to go home. :sad:

 

Thank you very much if you can help at all.

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Guest famousfive

I have no advice but I feel sorry to hear of the situation you are in.I think it's crazy for them to refuse your OH for the reason you stated,esp when you are an aussie.Do they ask people to leave the country if they develop an expensive medical condition?No! They should just deny your OH medicare assistance for that condition and insist he use private health care.Crazy.I think you need a migration agent though and not a regular lawyer as an agent will know of other cases like yours.

Good luck and I hope you can return home soon.

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I have no advice but I feel sorry to hear of the situation you are in.I think it's crazy for them to refuse your OH for the reason you stated,esp when you are an aussie.Do they ask people to leave the country if they develop an expensive medical condition?No! They should just deny your OH medicare assistance for that condition and insist he use private health care.Crazy.I think you need a migration agent though and not a regular lawyer as an agent will know of other cases like yours.

Good luck and I hope you can return home soon.

Thanks famousfive - I think you're right about getting an immigration lawyer. The MRT site says that they make it possible for people without representation to go through the process but I thought the same thing about the waiver and that clearly didn't work out!

 

And, yes, it IS crazy! I'm still in disbelief about the refusal, I had no idea how discriminatory Australia's immigration policies are until we had to go through this process - I don't think most Australians would realise. I'm so angry and upset about it, I think I will be writing to a few politicians.

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Maybe speak to George Lombard (he posts here and is highly respected), he is agent that specialises in obtaining visas with medial issues. He also has a DR on his team.

 

Welcome to Austimmigration | George Lombard Consultancy Pty. Ltd.

 

Also, send a PM to Gollywobbler - she PiOs resident legal eagle :o) (Hope she doesnt' mind me saying that!)

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Peach - thanks so much for the advice - it's great to get some helpful recommendations, I really appreciate it.

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Guest siamsusie
Peach - thanks so much for the advice - it's great to get some helpful recommendations, I really appreciate it.
George is the way to go Jejuniper, he has a Dr on board for cases such as yours . Positive thinking!

Welcome to Austimmigration | George Lombard Consultancy Pty. Ltd.

 

I wish you all the best and do please let us have some feedback, particularly the successful stories :wink: Susie x

 

 

sorry Peach didnt see your post there... totally agree

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Guest famousfive
Thanks famousfive - I think you're right about getting an immigration lawyer. The MRT site says that they make it possible for people without representation to go through the process but I thought the same thing about the waiver and that clearly didn't work out!

 

And, yes, it IS crazy! I'm still in disbelief about the refusal, I had no idea how discriminatory Australia's immigration policies are until we had to go through this process - I don't think most Australians would realise. I'm so angry and upset about it, I think I will be writing to a few politicians.

 

 

They sure have some strange rules,I'm married to an aussie 14yrs and have lived between Ireland and Oz in that time,one of the kids even born here,and I still got refused a RRV in 08 because my previous visa was 4 days out of date before they got the application,this was because they gave me the wrong forms to fill in the first time!!! Had to go to London asap to fill in new one[from IRE] but was not fast enough!!Crazy.Married to an aussie 14yrs with kids who are all aussie citizens.Their advice at the time was for OH and kids to go ahead without me and I could follow in 6mths maybe when all was sorted.As if!!:arghh:

Got it all sorted eventually but made me mad because it was all their fault but cost me an extra E2,500 and 7mth delay.Oh well,heading home next year and hubbie can work in Ire etc..since the day we married and it never cost a penny.So different.Money racket for Aus gov methinks.

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I am so sorry to hear all the extra stress that you are going through due to the visa refusal. I hope that George is able to help you get this all sorted out and that you are soon able to return home.


Offshore partner visa sent 2/6/10, signed for 3/6/10, money taken 7/6/10, CO acknowledgement 9/6/10, PR Visa granted 28/9/10, Arrived in Brisbane 5/11/10 and loving life again :biggrin:

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Guest jayde

Hi, I cant help, but hope someone will be along soon.

 

I have Pm'ed you, please see if you can pm me back

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George is the way to go Jejuniper, he has a Dr on board for cases such as yours . Positive thinking!

Welcome to Austimmigration | George Lombard Consultancy Pty. Ltd.

 

I wish you all the best and do please let us have some feedback, particularly the successful stories :wink: Susie x

 

 

sorry Peach didnt see your post there... totally agree

Thanks siamsusie - I'm glad I came to this forum - lots of useful recommendations! I will certainly post updates about the situation to keep others informed.

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They sure have some strange rules,I'm married to an aussie 14yrs and have lived between Ireland and Oz in that time,one of the kids even born here,and I still got refused a RRV in 08 because my previous visa was 4 days out of date before they got the application,this was because they gave me the wrong forms to fill in the first time!!! Had to go to London asap to fill in new one[from IRE] but was not fast enough!!Crazy.Married to an aussie 14yrs with kids who are all aussie citizens.Their advice at the time was for OH and kids to go ahead without me and I could follow in 6mths maybe when all was sorted.As if!!:arghh:

Got it all sorted eventually but made me mad because it was all their fault but cost me an extra E2,500 and 7mth delay.Oh well,heading home next year and hubbie can work in Ire etc..since the day we married and it never cost a penny.So different.Money racket for Aus gov methinks.

Oh my gosh, that's insane what you had to go through - thank goodness it's all sorted out now! It's funny, I had the same thought about the whole thing being some kind of revenue raising exercise - when I spoke to my CO after the refusal she kept saying "just lodge an application with the MRT", as though it was standard practise for them to refuse the waiver and make everyone go to the MRT. I just don't understand the logic. I've been through US immigration which I thought was very bureaucratic at the time but at least the steps were clear and well-defined and you knew the status at any given point. The Australian system just seems to be very vague and subject to arbitrary decision making. It may not be arbitrary "behind the scenes" but the lack of transparency makes it seem that way.

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I am so sorry to hear all the extra stress that you are going through due to the visa refusal. I hope that George is able to help you get this all sorted out and that you are soon able to return home.

Thank you MicheleW - it's made me feel a bit better getting some moral support here!

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Hi, I cant help, but hope someone will be along soon.

 

I have Pm'ed you, please see if you can pm me back

Thanks jayde - I didn't get a PM from you but I have PM'd you so hopefully you received it!

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Hello ... I posted this 2 years ago and wanted to give an update.

 

We had our Migration Review Tribunal hearing in Sydney on June 7 (almost exactly 2 years after we lodged the application). It was all over in about 20 minutes and we found out a few days later that we were successful, thank goodness.

 

This has been a very long and expensive process (probably $10,000 all up, taking lawyer's fees and travel costs into account) and, even though we're happy that we had a successful appeal, I'm still pretty angry that we had to go through this rigmarole just because my husband is cursed with ulcerative colitis.

 

Anyway, if anyone has any questions about the MRT process, feel free to PM me. We still have a bit more of a wait ahead of us as this just got us past the health requirement and now the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. has to complete the processing of the visa application - plus we have to redo the FBI and medical as they've now expired. So it will be > 3 years just to get a spouse visa - crazy!

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Hello ... I posted this 2 years ago and wanted to give an update.

 

We had our Migration Review Tribunal hearing in Sydney on June 7 (almost exactly 2 years after we lodged the application). It was all over in about 20 minutes and we found out a few days later that we were successful, thank goodness.

 

This has been a very long and expensive process (probably $10,000 all up, taking lawyer's fees and travel costs into account) and, even though we're happy that we had a successful appeal, I'm still pretty angry that we had to go through this rigmarole just because my husband is cursed with ulcerative colitis.

 

Anyway, if anyone has any questions about the MRT process, feel free to PM me. We still have a bit more of a wait ahead of us as this just got us past the health requirement and now the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. has to complete the processing of the visa application - plus we have to redo the FBI and medical as they've now expired. So it will be > 3 years just to get a spouse visa - crazy!

 

 

So you've just been given a health waiver and yet you still have to redo a medical... sums it all up really.

Glad to hear you're finally well on the way to getting the visa and being able to go home :hug:

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Thanks RockDr! Yes ... I had to have a laugh when we were told my husband would have to redo the medical. I asked why and apparently it's just in case he has developed some OTHER medical condition during the long wait. :err: This whole thing has felt like a wild goose chase but we're now close to catching the goose!

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WOW what a rollercoaster. Glad its looking like you can go home soon, wish you all the best xxx

Edited by fairystar32

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i still can't figure out how the australian government works

 

we have in one hand, people who willing to go through red tape and apply for a PR but told to wait for years and years just because the visa subclass is literally at the bottom of the barrell, meanwhile working and paying taxes all these time

 

on the other hand, people like OP who is an australian citizen who want to go back to live and work and PAYING TAXES in australia, but got so caught up in red tape that took 2 years for the problem to be solved

 

meanwhile this happens http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/carr-slams-high-court-as-asylum-bill-starts-to-sink-20120628-213sf.html

 

soooo...we pay taxes for them to play on human lives such as ours too?

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i still can't figure out how the australian government works

 

we have in one hand, people who willing to go through red tape and apply for a PR but told to wait for years and years just because the visa subclass is literally at the bottom of the barrell, meanwhile working and paying taxes all these time

 

on the other hand, people like OP who is an australian citizen who want to go back to live and work and PAYING TAXES in australia, but got so caught up in red tape that took 2 years for the problem to be solved

 

meanwhile this happens www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/carr-slams-high-court-as-asylum-bill-starts-to-sink-20120628-213sf.html

 

soooo...we pay taxes for them to play on human lives such as ours too?

 

What worries me is that the Australian government is effectively practising Eugenics - weeding out those with health issues and birth defects from potential migrants to ensure that the general population are free from inherited disease etc. They have no regard for the families of their victims. Eugenics was one of the Nazis policies, although they took it one step further by insisting on racial purity as well.... Australia loves to brag about the healthiness and life expectancy of its population (second to Japan I believe) but then that is easy to achieve when you are picky about who you allow to live in your country.

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Hello ... I posted this 2 years ago and wanted to give an update.

 

We had our Migration Review Tribunal hearing in Sydney on June 7 (almost exactly 2 years after we lodged the application). It was all over in about 20 minutes and we found out a few days later that we were successful, thank goodness.

 

This has been a very long and expensive process (probably $10,000 all up, taking lawyer's fees and travel costs into account) and, even though we're happy that we had a successful appeal, I'm still pretty angry that we had to go through this rigmarole just because my husband is cursed with ulcerative colitis.

 

Anyway, if anyone has any questions about the MRT process, feel free to PM me. We still have a bit more of a wait ahead of us as this just got us past the health requirement and now the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. has to complete the processing of the visa application - plus we have to redo the FBI and medical as they've now expired. So it will be > 3 years just to get a spouse visa - crazy!

 

Well done to you both for sticking it out, it worked out in the end!!! The world as truely gone mad, good luck for the future and your return to Oz !!!:biggrin:

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Congrats. Sounded horrific.


19/03/2012 - Spouse Visa Application arrives | 20/03/2012 - Case officer assigned | 29/03/2012 - Medical at Edinburgh | 04/04/2012 - Police Check posted | Visa granted 10/09/2012 | 12/09/2012 - Flight Takes Off

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What worries me is that the Australian government is effectively practising Eugenics - weeding out those with health issues and birth defects from potential migrants to ensure that the general population are free from inherited disease etc. They have no regard for the families of their victims. Eugenics was one of the Nazis policies, although they took it one step further by insisting on racial purity as well.... Australia loves to brag about the healthiness and life expectancy of its population (second to Japan I believe) but then that is easy to achieve when you are picky about who you allow to live in your country.

 

I agree, and the really frustrating thing for us is that the Australian Parliament looked into this issue and came out with a report two years ago recommending sweeping changes to the health requirement ( http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=mig/disability/report.htm ). It had support from all political parties but absolutely NOTHING has been done about it!

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