This is a very strange story of an Indian International student family who came to Australia some years ago to make a new life for themselves. But the sponsor Grandpa says he never sponsored.
Amandeep Kaur Sandhu came to Australia as an international student along with her husband Kanwaldeep Singh Thandi and son Samarvir Singh Thandi.
In 2012, while in Australia, She had made a further onshore application for Student (Temporary) (Class TU) visas – she being the main applicant – included both her husband and son Samarvir.
On February 25, 2013, as a requirement of visa application, the department required Amandeep to provide documentation to satisfy the financial requirement of Schedule 5A criteria. She was required to provide these documents within 28 days.
The delegate at the department sent that bank statement to the Australian High Commission in New Delhi for routine integrity checking to confirm it was not fake.
The investigating officer in New Delhi contacted the account holder sponsor Shankar Singh (grandfather, Amandeep’s claimed Nana Ji). Shankar Singh told the officer he had not sponsored anyone for a visa from any country and did know anyone by the name of Amandeep Kaur Sandhu.
Upon getting that information back from New Delhi, the department wrote to Amandeep and asked her to explain her ‘non-genuine document’.
On 3 June 2013 Amandeep provided a statement regarding the non-genuine documentation that she had supplied in support of her application. She said that “the account holder(grandfather) had previously wished to sponsor her, but that person has subsequently changed her(his) mind.”
The department did not believe the explanation provided by Amandeep, because the alleged Nana Ji said he had never heard of Amandeep, not that he had withdrawn his financial sponsorship. Obviously, Amandeep’s explanation to the department – if assisted someone – whether agent or lawyer – was based on a very poor and bad advice.
The application was refused. She lodged an appeal with the MRT, now called Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Tthe Tribunal, like the delegate, concentrated on the question of Amandeep having provided “a bogus document, or information that was false and/or misleading in a material particular”. The Tribunal noted, as had the delegate, the response of the person contacted in India.
At the tribunal, Amandeep was told that the department had information alleging that she had offered money in exchange for sponsorship for an application for permanent residence from people who are not her relatives.
When asked why her grandfather would say he does not even know who she was, Amandeep tried to explain the situation saying that her mother’s family is involved in a property dispute which has led her maternal grandfather to withdraw his financial support.
Clearly her evidence was inconsistent with the information the department had which was that the holder of the bank account contacted by the department claimed that he had never sponsored anyone in Australia and that he did not know anyone by the applicant’s name.
She told the tribunal that this was the second time she was facing this problem. “In 2009 she tried to apply for permanent residence but did not go through with it. At the time there was no family dispute and they wanted her to come to Australia. After that, they had dispute with her parents and told her they will kick her out of Australia. Her parents are scared from both the maternal and paternal sides.”
The tribunal asked if she has any evidence of a dispute in her maternal family. She stated that all of the documents are with the jury in the village.”
On 15 December 2014, the Migration Review Tribunal (“Tribunal”) also refused her application for the Student (Temporary) (Class TU) visas.
On 12 January 2015, Amandeep filed an appeal to the Federal Circuit Court seeking to get the decision overturned.
Somewhat strangely, while seeking review of her refusal of visa application was midway and not really getting anywhere, on 17 September 2015 she applied to the court to add her younger 4 ½ yrs old son, Prabhdeep Singh Thandi, to the Application, thinking of bringing him to Australia.
Now she also provided some documentary evidence – copies of police reports (F.I.R) filed in India showing dispute between her father and uncle Jasvir Singh. She said her uncle Jasvir Singh was helping her maternal uncle “to not support or help us in any kind in Australia. I hope you understand everything.”
Last month on January 22, the Court decided against Amandeep and ordered her to pay legal costs of the department’s lawyers.
– DM with K.Dev