19 January 2009

DIAC refuses Australian visa for "unrelated" identical twin

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has denied an Australian visa application from a Western Australian woman's identical twin because she is "unrelated", reports Perth Now.

Rosabelle Glasby applied for an Australian visa for her identical twin sister so that she could move to Australia, but DIAC has ruled they are not technically related.

After their birth in Australia, the women were separated from each other for almost 50 years before they were reunited last September. 

DIAC state director Paul Farrell explained to the women that because of their separation, they are techinically not considered siblings under Australian migration law and their application for an Australian family visa is ineligible.

`"Under Migration Law where the legal relationship between a child and his/her birth parents has been severed by adoption, the legal relationship between the child and his/her birth siblings is also severed," Mr Farrell said.

"It therefore does not appear that your twin sister would be eligible for a permanent visa under the Family Stream of the Migration Program."

Ms Glasby had been searching for her twin for almost two decades before they were reunited last year, and now feels her last chances at feeling "complete" are at the hands of bureaucracy. 

"Now the department has decreed that the identical twins are not related, this effectively closes off our last avenue to apply," she told reporters.

Dorothy Loader, Ms Glasby's twin sister, is ineligible to apply for most Australian skilled migration streams because of her age, and will have to wait for an official rejection of her Australian family visa application before applying for intervention on compassionate grounds.

"As much as we sympathise with Mrs Glasby's situation, the department is bound by Australian law and any application for a permanent visa for her sister and her sister's family would have to be considered against the relevant laws and the regulations which apply to every case," said a DIAC spokesperson.

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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