0412 496 735


322-328 Diddillibah Road, Diddillibah QLD

Migration Centre of South Australia





Effective from 10 December 2012, the Australian Consulate in Dubai has made arrangements for applications to be lodged with Australian Visa Application Centres (AVAC) The only AVAC offices in Pakistan are in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. Biometrics can be done at time of application.


1. Most migration agents will continue to lodge applications through Dubai because of the high risk of loss/ theft of documents when sending completed applications (including the DIAC receipt) by courier to a client in Pakistan

2. Would DIAC be willing to issue requests for Biometrics/ DNA/ and medicals at the one time? This is especially important for vulnerable single woman for whom such journeys outside of Quetta, are extremely dangerous and costly.
3. Currently the biometrics are required within 28 days of receipt of the acknowledgement letter. In order to facilitate biometrics/ DNA and medicals being completed in the one trip, the Regulations for lodgement of a valid application may need to be amended to allow :

- officers time to assess the case for need for DNA tests and 
- time for DNA laboratories to arrange the appointments with DIACstaff (currently bookings are approximately 6 weeks after the request is lodged) and 
- time for clients to arrange the money for travel and to ensure they are safe to travel

A discretion and policy direction to this effect should not be difficult to implement. Given the majority of our clients are based in Quetta, this new process means yet another life threatening trip for asylum seekers and refugees and therefore it is strongly recommended that DIAC facilitate this request as a matter of urgency.

**nb it is noted that on the majority of occasions when these requests are made, the embassy staff are complying but we request as a matter of course that all these requirements be requested in the one DIAC letter and be arranged so that only one trip from Quetta is required. It is extremely difficult in circumstances as happened recently where the embassy refuses to give further extension and the due date is prior to the date which the embassy themselves arranged for the DNA test!!


Completed health examinations (medicals, chest x-ray and blood-tests) for the applicant and all members of the ‘family unit’ included in the application need to be done with a Commonwealth panel doctor. There are NO panel doctors based in Quetta because of the problems DIAC had in the past.


Clients are being required to do too many trips from Quetta. Many of these clients are single women with children. It is dangerous. They cannot go for biometrics/DNA and medicals on 3 different occasions. As stated above there is an urgent need for this to be better co-ordinated and to ensure that all matters can be attended to in one trip from Quetta.


There is almost automatic request for DNA testing for every Afghan client processed by DIAC in Dubai. Requests arrive with the application acknowledgement letter stating: ”I have considered the information you have provided in your application and I am not satisfied that the evidence demonstrates the claimed family relationship between the primary applicant, secondary applicants and sponsor. “

Results are requested within 28 days of the email.


1. What are the statistics of falsely declared family members that has given rise to DNA for EVERY Afghan (processed by DIAC, Dubai) despite all family members being declared by the sponsor from time of entry to Australia (and often also declared to UNHCR in Indonesia or Malaysia). High levels of fraud in declaration of family members are NOT reflected in the caseloads of the migration agents involved in this research, with over 95% of our clients, having positive DNA tests. Our initial request to the Minister is therefore that we be provided with statistical evidence of the fraud rate.

2. DIAC officers in Dubai are ignoring their own Guidelines (PAM3) for the use of DNA as a final measure to assist in confirming family relationships. As DNA tests are routinely requested with the acknowledgement letter or very soon after, it suggests that the requests are NOT final measures. We also note that the DIAC officers in Tehran dealing with the same Afghan case load, do NOT routinely request DNA tests. 

3. DNA tests are now booked up for nearly 8 weeks so it is impossible to provide results within 28 days. 


We understand the requirement for the embassy to need original police clearances.

We question the need of the embassy to receive the original photos of the clients holding the daily newspaper. We have pointed out that a scanned copy of in fact normally better as you can zoom in and see the date on the newspaper.

Apart from that – the cost of sending individual original documents to the embassy (following lodgement of an application ) is causing further stress on the ever increasing cost list for spouse visas (see details of costs below)


1. Migration Agents are concerned at the growing number of refusals of partner visa applications, child and orphan visa applications through DIAC in Dubai.

2. We urgently request statistics on decisions made by Dubai officers in the Afghan case load regarding visa type and rejection rates in the last 6 months and comparative statistics of decisions made by the MRT.

3. It is the experience of the Migration Agents raising these concerns, that the set aside rate of the MRT is extremely high. However at the same time the waiting times for processing with the MRT are now over 12 months. The cost to appeal a decision is also very high for refugee background clients. Thus this extremely vulnerable case load are being subjected to unacceptable waiting periods for final decisions to be made and more and more costs to finalise the process. We see increased mental health issues with the sponsors with many of them claiming they cannot sleep, they cannot concentrate and they are desperately worried for their families in Quetta,

11 - COSTS

A hypothetical scenario for a spouse visa application for an Afghan wife and three children:
- DIAC application fee: $ 2860 (from July 2013 DIAC proposes to introduce fees for EACH family member included inthe application so this total fee could exceed $7000 depending on what DIAC plans to charge)
- International pos to DUBAI $75
- Medicals x 4: $1000 
- DNA: $1750 - $2250
- Air fares to Australia: $6000 - 8000
- Documents and translations: $?
- Travel in Pakistan for Medicals/ DNA etc: $?

A total of around $11, 800 or more just for the base application and air fares and this is WITHOUT the cost of having a migration agent assist with the application. Several of our clients completed the dangerous journey to Kabul to obtain documents requested by the Australia embassy and they each paid over $AUD2000 for this travel.


1. The Australian Government has been very critical of people smugglers and costs charged by them to bring refugees from countries like Pakistan to Australia. However this same Government is charging these same families even higher fees to come in what would be called the “orderly, legal process”. Fees are becoming so prohibitive that many clients are now talking about putting their families on boats There is little incentive to remain in Pakistan when demands for documents cannot be met by the clients, the dangers of remaining in Quetta are becoming so grave, processing times are lengthy and the costs are so prohibitive for wives and children to migrate legally.

Libby Hogarth 
Edvania Lopes
Stella Van Der Krogt 
Cath Lester 
Margot Obrist
Nurmuhammad Majid
Carmel Pellicano
Heather Marr

20 February 2013 



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