The Federal Court of Australia on 27 September 2019 upheld a decision made by the Federal Circuit Court and the Tribunal regarding the applicant’s failure to disclosing details of significant changes to their circumstances.
In Mitra v Minister for Home Affairs (2019) FCA 1590, the applicant claimed that she did not become aware that she was suffering from kidney failure until after her visa had been granted. She traveled to Australia to take up residence here under a Subclass 475 Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa a few months after the visa was granted. Then, shortly after she arrived, she went to a hospital and stated that she would need regular dialysis. One of the doctors at the hospital also happened to be a Commonwealth Medical Officer; this doctor reported the visa holder to the Department, which then proceeded to cancel her visa.
The applicant sought to challenge the cancellation on the basis that she had been unaware of her medical condition until after the visa was granted. The Federal Court rejected the applicant’s argument because the Court found that section 104 of the Migration Act requires visa applicants to report changes in their circumstances which may affect the answers given in their visa application for during their entire period from the time they lodged their visa application until the time the applicant passes through immigration clearance. In this case, the visa applicant was aware that she was experiencing kidney failure a couple of months before she travelled to Australia and that she was obliged to inform the Department under section 104 of the Migration Act.
Therefore, it is always important to update your details and inform the Department of any changes to your personal circumstances. This case also shows that there will be adverse consequences if you try to conceal information or fail to update answers on a visa application. It can cause visa refusals and possible cancellation.
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