16 January 2009

Fijian AFL hopeful denied Australian visa

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has refused an Australian visa for a Fijian teenager, reports ABC Radio Australia.

Inoke Ratu, 19, has had his Australian visa denied after applying to move to Australia to play in the Australian Football League (AFL). 

Ratu, whose father is a soldier in the Fijian Military Forces, has been denied a visa by DIAC because of the strict regulations imposed by the Australian government after the Fijian military led a coup in 2006 against the Fijian ruling government.

The Western Bulldogs recruited Ratu and another player from Fiji last year, but his travel plans to train in Australia were put on hold by the Australian immigration department.

"I'm bit disappointed," Ratu told Fijilive Sports.

"AFL was my target.  My aim this year has been turned down because of my visa application," he said.

DIAC have not commented on the Fijian's visa application, but its rejection of the visa application is in line with current travel restrictions imposed by the government.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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