Zach Featherstone11

ISL has an extensive track-record of undertaking pro bono work.

In 2012 ISL committed to a pro bono case involving a repeat request for ministerial intervention in relation to a decision made by the Refugee Review Tribunal. ISL submitted that there were significant changes in the repeat request as well as exceptional circumstances. The material put forward in the initial request was not comprehensive and failed to address a number of issues. The applicants were also still obtaining detailed medical reports for further assessment of the elder daughter’s condition.

The unique and exceptional circumstances involved were the extreme health conditions of the applicant’s eldest child. The child was born with a rare medical condition, omphalocele, which involved a defect in the abdominal wall causing the organs to be outside of her body. The child had surgery but was still in need of extensive medical care. In the interests of the child’s health, the family had to remain in Australia. The poor medical conditions and under-developed facilities available in their home country meant that if the family were forced to return home it would have equated to issuing a death sentence for the child. Not only did these circumstances call for compassion, but they also called for Australia to exercise its duty, as a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to offer assistance to the applicant child. ISL was successful in securing ministerial intervention.

In 2013 ISL undertook another case that involved an application for a Partner visa. The applicant was lodging the application and was invited, on a number of occasions, to provide further information. This was to establish the nature of the relationship with the sponsor and to ensure that the applicant met the public interest criteria. Due to the applicant’s failure to provide this information, the Partner visa was refused for not meeting the criteria. The applicant then applied to the MRT for a review of the decision. However, the previous migration agent failed to attend and the applicant was forced to attend the hearing alone. The MRT affirmed the decision to refuse the Partner visa as the applicant did not meet the criteria.

ISL were instructed, after attempting to rectify the damaged caused by the inattention of the previous migration agent, to assist the applicant in a Ministerial intervention request. The Minister intervened and did grant the applicant a 676 visa with work rights to enable the applicant to then lodge a Partner visa. The applicant then continued to lodge a new Partner visa but was again refused due to a very narrow interpretation of the legislation given the applicant’s immigration history. It was then necessary to review the decision to the MRT. ISL made a submission requesting a priority hearing. The MRT did grant the priority hearing and the applicant was successful.

In 2014 ISL has been working on another pro bono case that again involved a repeat ministerial intervention request. The applicant was on a Close Family Visitor visa and, before it expired, had commenced an application for a substantive visa with the assistance of a migration agent. Unfortunately the migration agent closed their premises and failed to follow through with the application. After this occurred, the applicant had no choice but to remain in Australia as they did not have the finances to instruct another migration agent to continue the visa application, and did not have the funds to pay for a flight home.

It was at this point that ISL agreed to act for the applicant. The applicant instructed ISL to lodge a Protection visa, which was subsequently refused. ISL then applied for a review of the decision with the Refugee Review Tribunal who affirmed the original decision. Since then, ISL has successfully managed to overcome the criteria for a repeat request and the decision will come before the Migration Review Tribunal shortly.

Company: Immigration Solutions Lawyers
Phone: +61 (2) 9264 6432
Address: Suite 1304, World Tower
87-89 Liverpool Street
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia