Tasmanian
Refugee
Legal
Service

TRLS addresses an access-to-justice gap that manifests from the unique circumstances of refugees, asylum seekers & other humanitarian entrants into the Tasmanian community.

Abdul & Family*

Abdul’s story exemplifies the impact of Direction 80 and the significance of its revocation.

This year Ministerial Direction 80 was revoked.

This Direction placed partner visa applications sponsored by permanent residents granted protection visas after arriving by boat at the end of the processing queue. Abdul’s* story exemplifies the impact of Direction 80 and the significance of its revocation.

Abdul, an Afghan Shia Hazara, came to Australia in 2012 after being forced to leave his wife and five children behind when he fled persecution.

Despite being granted permanent protection, when Abdul sponsored his wife’s partner visa application to bring his family to safety, the application went to the bottom of the processing queue simply because of the means by which Abdul fled – by boat.

By the time Direction 80 was revoked it had been over ten years since the application was lodged. During this time Abdul’s family endured ongoing persecution, including the heartbreaking deportation and disappearance of one of his sons, who is presumed deceased.

Abdul’s struggle to reunite with his family faced another hurdle when his youngest son was diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability.

An immigration medical officer deemed that the condition was likely to cause ‘significant cost to the Australian community’ and the entire family’s application would be refused unless the Minister was persuaded otherwise.

Over 300 pages of supporting legal documentation was presented by the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service and ultimately a successful outcome was achieved.

Abdul has now finally be reunited with his wife and four remaining children after more than ten years apart – they have all been granted permanent residence in Australia.

*Names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the client

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