11 January 2011

Widow of murdered man makes Australian Visa bid

The family of a South Australian man who was murdered faces the prospect of having to return to Thailand after the Australian Immigration department has refused his Thai wife an Australian Visa.

Australian immigration

A Thai widow of an Australian man hopes the Australian immigration department will grant a visa for her and their daughter.

Som Sawaendgee, 24, and her five-month-old daughter Angelina have lodged an appeal to the ruling, but could be forced to return to Thailand permanently if the appeal is rejected.

Less than a year ago husband Andrew Oake was attacked and killed by three men in Thailand, and Ms Sawaendgee fears to return to Thailand as the killers have not be found and she is the only eyewitness to the attack.

Ms Sawaendgee arrived in Australia last September on an 18-month tourist visa to stay with Andrew’s parents, Rory McDonald and Jane Oake, in the hope of a better life.

Mr McDonald said the family had applied for a Contributory Parent (Migrant) Australian Visa, but were later advised to apply for a Protection Visa.

The family applied for the Protection Visa on November 8, thereby losing their $1700 application fee and spot in the queue for the previous application. The family was told their application was rejected on January 4.

Mr McDonald said the family would appeal against the decision and take the matter to federal Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen if necessary: a process that could take months.

An Australian Immigration Department spokesperson said the department was “well aware of the sensitivity of the case and remained in ongoing contact with the family”. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa application with Australian High Commission

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