20 January 2011

Tennis star Arina Rodionova seeks permanent Australian Visa

Arina, the younger sister of tennis champion Anastasia Rodionova, is seeking to apply for Australian residency after living for the past five years in Melbourne.

Australian immigration

Arina Rodionova will appeal the Australian Immigration decision, and hopes she will be granted citizenship in the near future.

The 21-year-old Russian applied for a residency Australian Visa in August, but the application was denied by the Immigration Department despite her sister Anastasia being granted citizenship.

Australian Open director Craig Tiley even made a personal endorsement of Arina in her application.

Anastasia, who won two gold medals at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, said they will appeal the decision and hopefully the Australian Immigration Department will reconsider.

Arina and Anastasia are currently playing in the Australian Open and are believed to be the first sisters representing different countries in competition since Manuella Maleeva (Switzerland) and Katerina Maleeva (Bulgaria) in the 1990 French Open.

Arina Rodionova is currently ranked No 185, and she fought her way through to play in the first round of the Australian Open last night.

She has been ranked as high as 150 on the WTA computer but her ranking fell after she missed many of the European competitions last year through illness.

Anastasia said her sister could make the top 100 by the end of the year and be an asset to Australian tennis.

A spokeswoman for Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Bowen said Arina hadn't spent enough time in the country to qualify, and there are no option for ministerial intervention in this case.

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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