Interview: David S.

Complex Visa Case Studies

The following is an excerpt of an interview with a former client. You can see the full interview here.

Q How did you find out about us?
David S. It was a bit of luck really… I was exploring the internet, and on that basis I was given information that there were immigration lawyers that could help me with my dilemma.

Q Could you tell us about your background?
D.S. I think it was in 1992 that I had an opportunity with a friend of mine to start an air conditioning company. It just took off, it took off so well. It gets quite stressful; I never had a formal education so it was quite stressful to run a company of that magnitude. The bigger the turnover, the bigger the staff, the bigger the office… it got very stressful, so I used to take these opportunities to go out to Australia. Prior to my offence, I would go out there every year.

Q How was your experience when researching your immigration prospects?
D.S. It was frightening. Because I had this dreadful thought that I’d never see my son again… It was out of my hands, I had no control over when I was going to see my son. I then went on the internet and had a look at the people who had made applications to the immigration board, and their outcomes. I went to see what the criteria was, and obviously it said that [with a conviction of] two years and over, you’ve got very little hope of getting a visa. That frightened me… I then went on to individual cases where people have tried to play the game- where they have gone out there and not declared their offences, and had been stopped in the airport and then deported back on the next flight home. I was at such a low ebb.
I was told by a friend that there were immigration lawyers that specifically deal with cases of my nature.

Q Could you tell us about your offence?
D.S. As tragic as it was, it took place in 18 seconds. I don’t know how to explain. It certainly doesn’t leave you, it doesn’t leave me to this day.

Q How was your experience with MSL Solicitors?
D.S. We met and we started the process, and it took nearly two years. You did it all! You directed me in to what was required by the Melbourne immigration offices. You steered me in the right direction with regards to the content of information supplied, and the manner and substance of the statements that had to be made. [You told me] the testimonies that are needed and how to present myself to a board for a character reference. I’ve never had to do that before in my life, and it’s very difficult.

Q What does this visa mean to you and your family?
D.S. It keeps us together. Without it we’d have very little contact- phone, WhatsApp, video links…it’s not the same. Like I said in my letter to you when we were granted the visa: I don’t think your offices appreciate the happiness and gratitude that we felt once we received that granted visa. It was stunning. It just meant so much to all of us.

Q What would you say to others with complex visa cases?
D.S. All I can say is that you’re no different than me, because you think that there’s no hope and nowhere to go. You start to despair and don’t know where to turn, and you really consider chancing your luck by going out there and not filling out your landing card. You know how that ends up; it fails and people get sent home. That’s how desperate you get and that’s how you start to think.
So, you offered a glimmer of hope. I can’t express the gratitude. It was a long process, with a stunning outcome- an outcome that I quietly disbelieved. I’m just grateful for a visa to travel there.