Success in Historic LGBTQIA+ Case: AAT Grants Protection Visa 866 with NB Migration Law’s Representation

In a remarkable turn of events, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has made a decision that supports a client represented by NB Migration Law, resulting in the approval of a Protection Visa 866. This positive outcome marks the end of a complex legal journey, highlighting the client’s determination and the dedicated efforts of our skilled Migration Lawyers, Cindy Zhao, Principal Migration Lawyer, and Kiska Li, Migration Lawyer, and Associate.


Navigating a Difficult Path

The story began in July 2016 when the client applied for a protection visa, client did not claim that he is a member of the LGBTQ+ at the time of the protection visa application. It took him a while to speak publicly about his identity due to his introverted and shy personality, plus other factors such as public perception.

Unfortunately, the initial application was rejected in March 2017. This wasn’t the only setback; a previous partner visa application in 2013 had also been denied due to the end of a past relationship with a woman. The client explained that in their home country, many LGBTQ+ individuals must hide their identity due to cultural and social stigma.

This applied to him as well, as he couldn’t openly express their sexual orientation. Despite facing challenges, including societal pressures, the client persisted. He sought a review through the AAT in March 2017, but the Tribunal upheld the Department’s decision in June 2020. Undeterred, the client took their case to the Federal Circuit Court in October 2020, but the application was dismissed in March 2021.

A turning point came when the Federal Court overturned the Federal Circuit Court’s decision in February 2022. The case was sent back to the AAT for review, and in December 2022, the Tribunal referred the case back to the Department. Finally, in August 2022, the long-awaited positive outcome was achieved, and the sought-after Protection Visa 866 was granted. Our Principal Lawyer, Cindy Zhao, also assisted with the Federal Court application.


A Journey of Strength and Persistence

Central to this case was the client’s compelling story. As a conscientious objector to war and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, he feared returning to their home country due to the possibility of discrimination, abuse, and persecution based on their sexual orientation. Refusing military service could lead to imprisonment and the loss of essential rights, as well as public exposure and isolation.


Expert Advocacy by NB Migration Law

Under the guidance of our experienced migration lawyers, Cindy Zhao and Kiska Li, our legal strategy focused on several key aspects:


  • One significant factor was the client’s marriage to an Australian citizen in January 2022. Despite the authenticity of their relationship, the denial of the protection visa created obstacles to pursuing an onshore partner visa due to legal constraints.
  • Applying offshore was also challenging due to passport issues from the client’s home country.
  • The couple faced separation due to the client’s military obligations and travel restrictions. Language barriers, financial hurdles, and the threat of persecution compounded the difficulties related to their same-sex marriage.


Crucial Tribunal Decision: Recognizing Real Risks and Protection Gaps

The Tribunal’s decision was pivotal. By understanding the unique challenges, the Tribunal acknowledged that the harm the client could face surpassed regular circumstances. They recognized the genuine potential for significant harm due to the client’s LGBTQIA+ identity, especially as a gay individual in his Asian home country. This harm extended beyond isolated incidents, revealing systemic discrimination without proper state protection. As a result, the Tribunal affirmed the client’s valid fear of persecution, within the boundaries of the law.


A Triumph of Justice and Compassion

The successful resolution of this complex case brings immense satisfaction to both the client and our legal team at NB Migration Law, particularly our Principal Migration Lawyers, Cindy Zhao, and Kiska Li. After enduring years of uncertainty, the client can now look forward to a stable and promising life in Australia. This achievement underscores the significance of determination, legal expertise, and the unwavering pursuit of justice, even in the face of daunting challenges.


The expert legal team at NB Migration Law excels in representing clients in tribunal cases. If you require skilled representation in court appeals, please feel free to contact us.

Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.