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Australian Immigration Law Update No. 153 August 2016: Edited By: ADRIAN BITEL

In this issue

Passing of David Bitel

It is with great sadness that Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers announces the passing of its principal, David Bitel. David died in his sleep on 20 August 2016 at Greenwich Hospital.

David recently celebrated his 40th Anniversary as a Solicitor, having first been admitted on 16 July 1976. He practised all his professional life with Parish Patience. In this sense, David continued the great tradition of the firm. From its beginning in 1888, founding partner Walter Parish was a lawyer here for over 50 years. John Patience came to the firm in 1937 and remained practising law for decades, including when he became Chairman of Radio 2GB. Another long-term principal was Neil McIntyre, and the firm was named Parish Patience & McIntyre up to the late 1960’s.

Practising extensively in both general and immigration law, David was a member of the Migration Institute of Australia. He was first lawyer recognised by the Law Society of  New South Wales as an Honorary Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law and was a consultant author of the loose leaf legal text “Australian Immigration Law”. David also provided legal advice to many community groups, notably from the Filipino, Bangladesh, Indonesian and Nepalese communities in Australia.

From this experience particularly in Immigration and Human Rights’ Law, David was appointed as a member of various committees of the Law Society of New South wales, (including as Chair of its Specialist Accreditation Committee, and its Human Rights Committee), of the Law Council of Australia and of the International Bar Association and a member of the Executive of the IBA. From 2002 to 2004 he was Senior Vice Chair of IBA Committee 14. David was also a member of the Immigration Lawyers Association of Australia and was one of the Convenors of their 2011 Annual Conference in Sydney.

More recently, David Bitel was named in the 2014 edition of the Best Lawyers in Australia, a tribute to him and to his long-time professional dedication.

Similar to his commitment to legal matters, David Bitel also undertook significant community and human rights’ work throughout his life. He served as the long term Secretary General of the Australian Section of the International Commission of Jurists, assisting with Rule of Law matters in Australia and internationally. Frequently David attended Government/NGO Consultations Forums, and substantially advocated for changes in domestic and international law, including through the Australian Forum of Human Rights Organisations (AFHRO)

For David’s work with refugees, in 2002 he was awarded Austcare’s prestigious Paul Cullen Humanitarian Award. David had also helped to found the Immigration Advice and rights Centre (IARC) in 1982, and served as its Chairman. He similarly helped to found the Gay and Lesbian Immigration Task Force (GLITF), which has continued since 1983 to advocate for equality for same sex couples under Immigration Law.

From 1989 to 2009 David was a part time Judicial Member of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal in its Equal Opportunity Division (and its predecessor). He served on the Executive of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies from 1999 to 2008, acting as Chair of its Social Justice Committee in this period. A member of the Labor Party of Australia since 1967, David was elected as Paddington Ward Alderman to Woollahra Municipal Council from 1978 to 1983 and, in the 1980s, he served on the NSW ALP Branch, Immigration Policy Committee.

David also held deep interest in prison reform and social justice issues affecting mental health patients. From 2010 to 2012 he served as President of the Community Justice Coalition in New South Wales.

Parish Patience as a firm benefited considerably from David’s expertise and care, including developments in Administrative and Immigration Law. Over decades of his work in community and legal matters, he did not lessen his workload or efforts to ensure changes in the law for the better.

When confronted with the news three years ago that he had been diagnosed with Cancer, he reacted with his customary determination and optimism.

Over the last six months or so David’s health steadily declined however his commitment to clients and humanitarian causes never wavered. He explained more than once that he didn’t want sympathy as he had a full life and had been fortunate to enjoy opportunities not available to everyone.

Such was his devotion to immigration work he continued to see clients and help and advise them for as long as it was possible to do so. David’s legacy is with many thousands of people he has helped to lead happy and fulfilling lives in Australia.

In the final few months he also devoted his time to providing a way forward for the firm and its many clients by passing on his knowledge freely to the many employees of long standing who also shared his commitment and passion for migration and humanitarian issues and who now form a company which continues his legacy.

We honour his dedication, his unflagging commitment to bettering legal and human rights, his support of communities and the disadvantaged.

The Staff of Parish Patience honour David, we look forward to continuing the legacy so notably embarked on by him.

For more information please contact Office Managers Blair Commin or Adrian Bitel on 92868700

(With thanks to Kate Matthews for her Assistance) 

Parish Patience Immigration has incorporated

David Bitel has wanted to incorporate his firm for a number of years. The new company will be named

Parish Patience Bitel Pty Ltd., trading as Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers.

We will continue to offer the same, wide range of immigration advice and service, and there will be no change with regard to ongoing work for clients.

Business will continue as normal from 338 Pitt St. SYDNEY.

Directors of the new company will be:

Michael Jones

Accredited Specialist Immigration Lawyer and Legal Practice Manager

Blair Commin

Finance Director, Office Manager

Adrian Bitel

Administrative Director

Motasim Billah

Director and Case Manager

Golam Mostafa

Director and Case Manager

Mahalingam Sutharshan

Director, Registered Migration Agent

Thong Nguyen

Director, Registered Migration Agent

We have been contacting all clients to advise them of this change which will be of benefit to clients.

The Practice is expanding with the employment of Paul Sadler as a Migration Agent. We have also employed a Migration Lawyer, Ramtin Towdiee a registered Migration Agent to start is mid-September. We welcome you to the new company and look forward to providing a continued service to our clientele.

Source: Parish Patience Bitel Immigration Lawyers.

A Success Story

Michael Jones, Legal Practice Manager at Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers, recently resolved a complex case involving loss of Australian citizenship. The Australian- born son of a Portuguese citizen had gone to Portugal several years previously to resolve some legal matters, and while there he had registered his birth with the Portuguese Civil Registry. Under the Australian law in force at that time (it has since changed), a person over 18 who “acquired” the citizenship of another country lost their Australian citizenship. The client moved to a third country and had a child there. When he tried to register the child’s birth with the Australian Embassy in that country they told him he was no longer an Australian citizen because he had acquired Portuguese citizenship when he registered his birth in that country. Michael undertook research into the details of the relevant Portuguese law and was able to show the effect of the registration was that the client was recognised by the Portugal as a citizen retrospectively to the time of his birth, and therefore he had not lost his Australian citizenship. The Embassy accepted this and registered his child as an Australian citizen by descent.

- Mr Micheal T Jones

Visas again required workers on vessels and floating structures in the migration zone

The High Court on, 31 August 2016, unanimously held that a determination by the Minister pursuant to s 9A(6) of the Migration Act was invalid.

The determination would have resulted in non-citizens working on relevant vessels and floating structures no longer being subject to the visa regime because they were deemed not to be in the migration zone. 

The Maritime Union of Australia and Australian offshore workers sought a declaration from the High Court that the determination was invalid because it was repugnant to the Act and other laws regulating foreign labour.

The High Court agreed and held that the determination exceeded the limited power of S.9A(6) whose purpose was to provide for only limited exceptions for particular activities related to the offshore visa regime.

By entirely negating the extension of the visa regime to vessels and structures that were not Australian resources installations, the determination was held to be beyond power. The High Court consequently declared that the determination was invalid and of no effect.

What does this mean for those working on relevant vessels and floating structures in the migration zone?

They will require a Subclass 400 or 457 visa.

These visa subclasses are prescribed for offshore resources activities for workers who will be in an area to participate in or to support an offshore resource. These workers are authorised to enter Australia in a way other than through a port or pre-cleared flight.

Source: MIA NOTICE No 64 – 1 September 2016

Citizenship - RMAs representing clients

Citizenship applicants can nominate a person as their representative for this type of applications and this may be a migration agent. The following information has been provided by the Department and has also been circulated to all Directors, Managers and processing staff within the Citizenship programme in all states and territories.

The Form 956 is not the correct form to nominate an authorised recipient for a Citizenship application.  The client will need to provide formal notification to the Department advising who their nominated representative is.  The notification must be in writing from the client stipulating the name and address of the nominated representative and state the extent to which they authorise the representative to act on their behalf. This written notification must be received before the Department can start interacting with the representative.

An agent must not represent someone or answer questions at interview as this is inappropriate.

An agent can accompany an applicant to an interview to provide moral support.  Citizenship staff will advise the representative that they are only there to observe and to provide moral support.  The representative will be positioned so that the client cannot get any assistance from the representative in responding to the questions asked. The representative is not allowed to engage in any of the conversation.

Source: MIA NOTICE No 64 – 1 September 2016

ORANA Growth centre

The Orana region which centres around Dubbo – Orange has opened a new website which will be of interest to new residents looking for employment in the Central Western Region of New South Wales.

Contact details are admin@daorana.org.au

Please don’t deport our daughter

A six-year-old girl is facing deportation to Britain as the only member of her family to be denied Australian residency based on an unnamed medical condition.

Sienna Tippet has lived in Lennox Head in northern NSW since she was 10 months old. But when she and her family applied for permanent residency in April 2015, a Commonwealth-appointed doctor deemed Sienna “a burden to the Australian community” and denied her request for a visa.

Sienna’s parents, Kai and Hayley Tippett, are fighting to have the ruling overturned so that the family of five, including their two older children Charley, 16, and Abbi, 13, who have all been granted visas, can remain in Australia. “One fail, all fail,” Mr Tippett said. ”As a parent you teach your children that everyone is equal and not to discriminate against anyone. Then the Australian immigration undoes everything you have taught your children – in our case labelling our little girl as a burden.”

Sienna’s condition, they say will only affect her balance and speech – and not her cognitive ability. Their little girl, who loves horse riding and going to the beach, attends an existing support unit within a mainstream school. In addition, the family is not eligible for a carer’s allowance or pension as they are over the asset threshold. “Sienna doesn’t cost any more than our 16-year-old and 13-year-old,” Mr Tippett said.

It’s been a long journey for the Tippetts, beginning in 2012 when Sienna was 16 months old. As she learnt to walk, Mr Tippett describes that his daughter experiences some issues with her balance. Her speech development was also delayed.

Over the past few years, the six-year-old has undergone extensive testing including MRIs, a lumbar puncture and a muscle biopsy to determine the cause of her symptoms. “To date.” Mr Tippett said, “every test carried out has come back clear.” Sienna still has no official diagnosis. And yet the symptoms of her unnamed condition have little impact on her ability to lead a full and active life.

“Sienna is such a beautiful little girl,” her father said. “She makes everybody smile.”

Unless Immigration Minister Peter Dutton intervenes, however, the family will be forced to leave their support system and home in Australia – something Mr Tippett feared could cause his daughter to regress.

A spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection refused to comment on the issue, other than to confirm that “the family has an ongoing request for ministerial intervention which is currently being assessed by the department.

Source>> SMH 10/08/2016

Number of refugees who attend university soars

At the age of 16, Mlisho Karega ran for his life.

He fled Congo’s civil war by boat with his nine-year-old brother and then spent three years in a “miserable” refugee camp in Tanzania.

He won’t talk about what happened to the rest of his family “it is too sad”, he said.

But in a rundown house in the camp, with a plastic sheet for a roof, he dreamt of becoming a doctor.

“Everything changed when I got a chance to come here,” the now 26-year-old said.

Mlisho, who was granted a humanitarian visa to come to Australia in 2009, makes up a small but increasing proportion of university graduates and students from refugee back-grounds.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton provoked a backlash in May claiming “illiterate and innumerate” refugees would take Australian jobs.

But new University of Melbourne research reveals that the number of students from refugee backgrounds has more than doubled in recent years, swelling from 1687 student in 2009 to 3506 in 2014.

These students face unique challenges.

Many have experienced trauma, forced immigration, loss of family and disrupted schooling, according to the Melbourne Refugees Studies Program’s report.

Mlisho didn’t speak English when he arrived in Australia and moved into a modest Sunshine house with his brother.

He enrolled in an English course at Victoria University, and juggled assignments with being a parent to his brother.

He has since completed a diploma and bachelor of nursing receiving a distinction average and now works as a registered nurse at Sunshine Hospital.

Every morning at 4am Mlisho’s light flicks on and he starts poring over medicine and nursing textbooks. He still dreams of becoming a doctor.

“I believe education is everything. I believe if you stop studying, you start dying. If life knocks you down, try to land on your back.”

On the report’s authors, Les Terry, said many humanitarian refugees arrived in Australia with high education levels and had successful careers in their former homes.

The report found a higher proportion of students with a refugee background had taken up studies and health and engineering than the national average.

The report raised concerns about asylum seekers who held temporary humanitarian visas and wanted to study.

“Despite the positive efforts of a number of university administrations to support these students through such initiatives as, for example, short-term humanitarian scholarships, this highly vulnerable group of potential students are not able to advance their education in any formal way at the higher education level, except under the inappropriate and costly ‘international student’ category,” the report said.

Victoria University regularly grapples with this situation. The university’s dean of student Susan Young said visa arrangements created huge obstacles for refugees and asylum seekers wanting to study.

She says the university went out of its way to welcome refugees and provided extra academic, welfare, housing, and counselling support.

Source>> SMH 15/08/2016

Manus detainees to claim false imprisonment in class action

Lawyers pursuing a class action on behalf of asylum seekers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea have been given a go-head to expand their claim to include false imprisonment.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Michael McDonald has ruled that the claim can be widened to allow the lawyers to argue that the detainees have been unlawfully held on Manus.

The landmark case alleges the detainees suffered serious physical and psychological injuries as a direct result of the conditions in which they were held. It accuses both the Australian government and service providers of acting unlawfully and seeks compensation.

“This has been a very dark period of Australian history and it’s about time a light was shone on it and this case provides the main opportunity for that to be done,” Rory Walsh, principal lawyer with Slater and Gordon said.

“This is not going to be an inquiry that is rushed, can be spun by politicians to suit their aims or can be chewed up in the media cycle in 24 hours.”

Mr Walsh said the firm sought to amend the claim after the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court ruled in April that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was illegal and in breach of PNG’s constitution.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was in Port Moresby on Wednesday to discuss PNG’s decision in April to close down the Manus detention centre in the light of the PNG court’s ruling.

More than 850 asylum seekers remain after the court decision. “Both Papua New Guinea and Australia are in agreement that the centre is to be closed,” PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said after meeting with Mr Dutton.

The talks came as 180 senior Catholic sisters endorsed the call from academics for a summit to discuss new approaches to the treatment of asylum seekers. Malcolm Turnbull is yet to respond to the call.

The class action, to be heard early next year, promises to be the most forensic examination yet of the treatment of around 1800 asylum seekers who were sent to the island after it was re-opened by the Gillard government late in 2012.

It has been brought in the name

Read More>>

Greens senator loses key Immigration role

High-profile Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, one of Parliament's most outspoken critics of offshore detention, has been stripped of the immigration portfolio by Greens leader Richard Di Natale despite wanting to stay in the job.

Senator Di Natale announced his post-election reshuffle on Thursday afternoon, saying he wanted to give several of his colleagues "new challenges".

Tasmanian senator Nick McKim will take on the immigration portfolio while Senator Hanson-Young takes on education and finance.

Neither Senator Hanson-Young nor Lee Rhiannon, who Senator Di Natale stripped of the higher education portfolio last year, are factionally close to the Greens leader.

Senator Hanson-Young said: "I fought hard to keep the immigration portfolio, but ultimately it was a decision of the leader of the party.

"While I am disappointed, I understand that politics is a team game and will work tirelessly in my new senior portfolio areas of education and finance.

"I will never stop fighting for people seeking asylum and want to thank the brave men, women and children who I've been lucky enough to meet and work with over the years."

Senator Hanson-Young, who held the immigration portfolio since 2008 until August 2016, said she was proud of her contribution to the asylum seeker debate and would work closely with Senator McKim.

"The work of my team in recent years, along with many others, has exposed the systematic abuse of women and children on Nauru and has been central to changing public perception about offshore detention," she said.

Recently, Senator Hanson-Young was pushing for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene to persuade the Nauruan government to allow her to inspect conditions there

Senator Di Natale praised Senator Hanson-Young for being "the voice of compassion [and] decency" in the noisy and difficult debate over asylum seekers.

"She has done a great job for nine years. She has been an incredible advocate for refugees," he told ABC radio.

"This is a debate that has been raging in Australia for many, many years and I think the country owes her a great debt."

The Greens leader said he did not think the party's staunchly pro-refugee position had cost it votes and the reshuffle did not mean its policies on asylum seekers would change.

He said Senator Hanson-Young would be a "formidable political advocate" in her new portfolios and that "after nine years it's time to refresh and reinvigorate the team".

Read More>>

Australia sends Sri Lankans home after high seas boat intercept

The Federal Government has confirmed a boat carrying six Sri Lankans has been stopped "on approach to Australia".

The Immigration Minister's office described it as a people-smuggling venture.

A spokeswoman has confirmed those on board have been returned to Sri Lanka.

"Our Sri Lankan partners provided advice that this vessel might be targeting Australia so we were ready and waiting to locate and detain the boat," Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said.

He said every Sri Lankan boat that had attempted to reach Australia since the beginning of Operation Sovereign Borders in 2013 had failed.

When they arrived back in Sri Lanka they were transferred to local authorities and investigated over immigration crimes.

Read More>>

44 illegal workers refused entry to Australia

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has stopped 44 Malaysian nationals attempting to enter Australia to work illegally.

Twelve of the individuals arrived at Perth Airport on Saturday (30 July) and an additional 32 arrived at Gold Coast Airport.

Both groups arrived on flights from Kuala Lumpur and all 44 individuals were returned to Kuala Lumpur within 24 hours of their arrival.

On arrival, the individuals were interviewed by ABF officers to determine their intentions while visiting Australia. During these interviews ABF officers ascertained that the individuals intended to work illegally and were therefore detained and removed.

Assistant Commissioner Strategic Border Command, Clive Murray, said the successful removals showed the dedication and vigilance of ABF officers in protecting Australia’s interests at the border.

“People who come here to work must do so in the appropriate way and they should be in no doubt that the Australian Border Force will diligently enforce our border laws,” Assistant Commissioner Murray said.

Strong penalties may apply for people found to be facilitating the entry of illegal workers into Australia, including up to ten years imprisonment.

Read More>>

Operators fined $90,000 Over Passengers and Crew Entering Australia without visas

ABF officers have issued 18 infringement notices totalling $90,000 after six Americans arrived at Brisbane Airport without visas to enter Australia.

A private jet with two crew and four passengers arrived at Brisbane Airport yesterday travelling from Samoa.

ABF officers confirmed that all passengers and crew did not hold visa entry into Australia.

Subsequently the aircraft owner, agent and operators were issued infringement notices for the four passengers and two crew with each notice being for $5000.

Regional Commander QLD, Terry Price, said that anyone entering Australia requires a valid visa regardless of where they are from or how they travel to Australia.

“These infringement notices should serve as a warning to aircraft operators who plan on flying people to Australia without visas that there are significant consequences,” Commander Price said.

Read More>>

Labor ‘open’ to resettling refugees in New Zealand

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has told the National Press Club that an elected Labor Government would be open to accepting New Zealand’s offer of resettling refugees currently in offshore detention facilities.

Mr Shorten also said that as Prime Minister he would work much closer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and would send his Immigration Minister straight to Geneva to work with the agency.

In 2013, Prime Minister’s Key and Gillard brokered a resettlement deal wherby New Zealand would take 150 refugees every year as part of their Humanitarian Visa Programme. This agreement has yet to be activated, but New Zealand does include the 150 quota in its forward planning of their Humanitarian Resettlement Program each year.

Source: MIA News: Issue 337 

A.P.B. Education

Specialist IELTS Test Training and Coaching

Passing an IELTS test is now an essential requirement for all applicant for General Skilled Migration, student visas, and for many employer sponsored applicants. Adrian Bitel provides individual lessons to assist applicants achieve proficiency to the required levels in:

  • Reading          
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Listening

He gives comprehensive ONE to ONE Personalised Coaching in any or all of the above areas at very competitive rates.

Contact: Adrian Bitel on (02) 9286 8700 or Mobile: 0412 656 026

Parish Patience Immigration
Level 1, 338 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW  2000
Tel:  +61 2 9286 8700
Fax: +61 2 9283 3323
Email: ppmail@ppilaw.com.au

Website: www.ppilaw.com.au



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