An Indian citizen’s bid to remain in Australia received a major blow on Wednesday when the Federal Circuit Court of Australia dismissed his plea to review the dismissal of the medical visa he had applied for in 2018.
Mr Singh, an Indian citizen, had applied for remedies about a decision made on 13 July 2020 by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, affirming a decision by the Immigration department not to grant the applicant a Medical Treatment (Visitor) (Class UB) visa (Medical visa).
– The Immigration department has refused medical visa to an Indian citizen who is in Australia for over 13 years.
– Mr Singh, who has turned 50, had arrived in Australia in 2007 on a student visa and remained in Australia on a combination of bridging visas after his students visa expired in 2010.
– In his application for the Medical visa, he said he wished to remain in Australia from 18 May 2018 to 18 May 2019.
The Court dismissed his application giving a set back to his 13-year journey in Australia.
Mr Singh, who has turned 50, has been on bridging visas in Australia for over ten years.
How it started?
Mr Singh arrived in Australia in June 2007 on a student visa. According to the Court documents, “He was later granted two additional student visas, one in 2007 and the other in 2010. The applicant later applied for additional visas but without success. The applicant’s last substantive visa expired on 2 August 2010, and he has remained in Australia on a combination of bridging visas.”
In May 2018, Sydney-based Mr Singh applied for a Medical visa.
In his application for Medical visa, he said that he wished to remain in Australia from 18 May 2018 to 18 May 2019. Mr Singh claimed that during that period, he would be under medical care; and that he had arranged medical treatment for “neck, lumbar spine and shoulder damaged [sic]”.
However, the department refused him Medical visa on 21 June 2018. On 9 July 2018, Mr Singh applied to the Tribunal for a review of the department’s decision. But since he failed to provide information about his medical treatment, the Tribunal dismissed his application.
According to the Court’s decision, “The Tribunal concluded the requirement was not satisfied, and positively found that the applicant applied for the Medical visa for the purpose of “elongating” his stay in Australia.”
The Tribunal noted in its decision that Mr Singh “had already spent 13 years in Australia; he had made lengthy efforts to remain in Australia.”
Try, Try again
On 10 August 2020, Mr Singh filed an application in the Federal Circuit Court for a review of AAT’s decision.
“The Tribunal did not consider my reasons fairly… and they did not give me proper chance to show I really need the medical treatment,” he claimed, according to the Court’s documents.
However, he did not appear for the hearing of the case on 7 April 2021.
“At 10:22 am on 7 April 2021, the applicant sent an email to the Court stating he had “symptoms of Covid-19”, he “had it checked and the doctors suggested” the applicant go home until he receives his results, and “so” the applicant could not attend the hearing. The email was brought to my attention, and, at my direction, the Court sent an email to the parties at 11:06 am on 7 April 2021, noting that I had directed that the hearing would proceed by telephone. The email provided the relevant dial-in details. The applicant did not appear at the hearing,” says Judge Manousaridis in his judgement.
How it ended?
When Mr Singh did not appear for the hearing, Judge Manousaridis ordered that the application be dismissed with costs and that the Minister serve a sealed copy of the orders on the applicant.
Mr Singh still did not give up. He filed another application requesting the Court to reopen his case, pleading, “reopen my case so that I can plead my case and get justice from the honourable Judge.”
That application was listed for hearing before Judge Manousaridis on 29 April 2021, and Mr Singh appeared via telephone, with an interpreter but without a lawyer.
In this hearing, after the department’s Solicitor Ms D Stone completed her submissions, Mr Singh said he that he wanted to consult a lawyer.
When the judge asked Mr Singh why he had not already sought the assistance of a lawyer, he replied that in the past he had obtained the assistance of migration agents, and he was not aware that lawyers could help him.
He said that he first became aware that a lawyer might be able to assist him on the day of the hearing.
Judge Manousaridis, however, was not satisfied with any of his arguments and dismissed the application ordering him to pay the Minister’s costs set in the amount of $1,200.