Sunday the 16th February 2014
Volume 286

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Welcome to the latest edition of IMMIGRATION NEWS and   the new subscribers. IMMIGRATION NEWS is proudly sponsored by Australian Immigration Law Services. For new readers you can subscribe using the link on the right hand side. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your friends.


Today in 'A Sunday Story' Tanya Das interviews the an applicant who succesfully overturned a decision made to refuse his Permanent Residency application. 


Sunpreet Singh outside his takeaway shop with his brother in Sydney's west.
Business comes to the Owners Rescue: the long fight for residency 

-Reporting: Tanaya Das


Sunpreet Singh was a happy go lucky Uni student when his brother, an Australian citizen suggested he move to Australia to study. He says "The law and order situation was deteriorating in Punjab, its actually worse if one's family is known to have money. I wanted to move to Australia and build my own identity".


Sunpreet loved Sydney's laidback yet dynamic lifestyle and knew this was the place he wanted to all home for the rest of his life, "I found Sydney addictive in the first few months, the weather, the


people, the opportunities just the general feeling of being here was great"

His brother and sister-in-law encouraged him to pursue his interest in the hospitality sector and supported him in every way. During the course of his studies Sunpreet underwent training and worked in a busy restaurant for free. Interns working for free is not unheard of in any industry especially in the highly competitive hospitality sector. Having his brother as his support also meant that unlike other international students Sunpreet could afford to work in order to learn and not to support himself.

He says of his experience working in a busy kitchen "taught me to think fast and clear on the go, inculcated in me this discipline that is required in to be successful hotelier, sometimes working isn't
about the money you make but about the rich experience you can accumulate"

Eventually Sunpreet completed his studies and applied for his permanent residency in September 2008 with his nominated occupation being a Cook. While his long drawn out visa application was being processed, Sunpreet with financial assistance from his brother opened a takeaway food outlet.

Once his business was up and running, Sunpreet put every ounce of effort into ensuring its success and sure enough in a year's time the outlet not help him recover the start up cost, the business loan was fully paid off.

Of those days Sunpreet says "I finally felt a sense of belonging coupled with achievement and knew I could make my family proud of me. I could have gone back and joined my father's construction equipments business but I chose to come all the way to Australia knowing that I wanted to succeed but not knowing if I could achieve my goals"

However in June 2012 the department of immigration refused Sunpreet's PR application citing the following reason;

"The department has been advised that in New South Wales (NSW) there is a legal requirement that people undertaking work experience must be paid and that it is illegal for employers to engage staff for unpaid voluntary work experience.

On the basis of the above information, I found the employment reference from Copper Tiffin provided to TRA in support of the application for a skills assessment contained information of a false or misleading nature."


The DIBP refused his application citing the Public Interest Criteria 4020.

Sunpreet fought the decision at the MRT and won on the 4020 issue. 

Understandably Sunpreet is still critical of the DIBP for refusing his visa in the first place. Of the experience Sunpreet says "I do believe it was completely unnecessary and an uphill battle that sometimes seemed hopeless, but I also think in Australia people do give you a chance if you or your actions have the potential to be beneficial addition to the society. The MRT took note of the fact the my business was benefiting the people I was employing as well as my brother who is an Australian citizen and his family"

He continues "Sometimes it is very essential to look past race and shared ethnicity and get the services of an agent who is well-versed in complicated migration issues to ensure that one's dreams are not crushed by some new fangled law or addition to the law."

Today Sunpreet has not only overturned the decision to refuse his visa that he says was "absolutely ridiculous", he has gone on to become an Australian Permanent Resident and now plans to get his parents over to Australia to show them the place that he loves and that has given him so much.

"I can't wait to spend my life here and give back with every step I take to this wonderful country" says Sunpreet on his future in Australia.

Karl Konrad
Karl Konrad
Sunjeet's circumstances is not the only one I have seen the DIBP citing this rubbish about unpaid work experience being unlawful.

When I first read of this tactic by the DIBP it struck me how low some case officers will stoop to refuse applications when in fact they have no real evidence of wrongdoing at all.

It reminded me of my time in the police force when some corrupt officers would simply make up the evidence because they were simply too incompetent to find real evidence themselves or in some cases, just wanted  to frame up an individual because they wanted them gone.

Regarding this issue of claiming NSW voluntary work experience was unlawful, I challenged one of the Directors of the ASPC who openly admitted such a claim was flase. He justified its use by saying there was "nothing wrong in telling a lie to illicit a truthful response".

In Sunpreet's case is was not only a lie they had sent him but they even refused his application based on a lie.

When Sunpreet came to see me after he had been refused to go to the MRT I had two choices, either expose these lying bastards for what they are or run with the fact that he was operating a business employing Australian Citizens.

Personally I would have loved to see the DIBP exposed for what the injustice of the refusal but it was in Sunpreet's interests to take the less confrontational path. It was safest route and we won easily.

So now I can tell you from experience, there are some rotten eggs in the DIBP just as there are in the police force.

The difference is, every police force in Australia has an Internal Investigations department to keep its members honest. Who is overseeing the DIBP?


Karl Konrad 



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Sydney NSW 2000


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           Jee Eun Han

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Australian Immigration Law Services












"In Sunpreet's case it was not only a lie they had sent him but they even refused his application based on a lie"





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