Visa cancellation kit
Example of a response to a Notice
Example of a statement (for use at both DIAC and AAT stage)
Example of a letter of support
Example of a letter seeking extra time to respond to a Notice
This is an example only. You will need to write about your own situation and circumstances in your own words. Refer back to 6. Instructions to remind you what information you need to include. Your response may be a long one, like this example, or it could be shorter, depending on your situation.
Cessnock Correctional Centre
PO Box 32
Cessnock NSW 2325
National Character Consideration Centre
PO Box 241
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
SENT BY FAX TO (03) 9235 3626
29 August 2011
Notice of Intention to Cancel under s 501(2)
This is my response to the Notice of Intention to Cancel my visa dated 27 June 2011.
I accept that I have a substantial criminal record and do not pass the character test. I would like you to exercise your discretion and not cancel my visa. Please take the following information into consideration when you make your decision.
1. The Protection of the Australian community
(a) The Seriousness and Nature of the Conduct
I acknowledge that I have committed offences of a serious nature. My criminal record is relatively long and it includes some offences which are "serious" offences, and some which also have some aspect of violence. The most recent offence is one of aggravated robbery and this happened in 2009. Before 2009 I had been convicted of a number of other offences, all of these connected somehow to my drug and alcohol dependence. I started committing offences when I was 20 years of age and I have been convicted of a few offences since then. Some were less serious, like the drink driving charge in 2007.
For the most recent offence of aggravated robbery I received a sentence of 2 1/2 years with a non-parole period of 14 months. This is at the lower end of the scale of sentences and the judge took into account a lot of the things that were happening in my life at the time of the offence and reduced my sentence. The judge also said that he thought with some rehabilitation I would improve my chances of staying out of trouble.
At that time I was living on the streets, and had drug and alcohol problems. My wife and two children had left me because of my drug habit and this made things even worse for me. All my family - my parents, my brothers and sisters - all live in Australia and even though we are now very close at the time they didn't want anything to do with me. I had no support, no assistance, no motivation to rehabilitate so I just kept taking drugs. No one would employ me and although I have qualifications as a panel beater I couldn't hold down a job anyway because of my drug habit and drinking.
Around this time I was arrested for a breach of bail and I spent some time in prison. It was at this time that I was diagnosed with severe depression and started receiving treatment. I felt much better and everything seemed to be improving for me but when I got bailed and got out of gaol, I found out that my wife left me. I stopped my medication and started using again. This is when I committed the offence of aggravated robbery.
When I was arrested I just pleaded guilty straight up. I knew I had done the wrong thing by the victim, who was just a taxi driver, doing his job. I was just desperate for money and desperate for drugs and I wasn't thinking at that time about the consequences of my actions for me, or him, or my family. I feel ashamed about the way I hurt this man.
(b) Risk that I might re-offend
This offence is clearly not my first one but all of them are related to my own problems, some with drugs and alcohol, some of them personal problems that have come about because of my own background.
I now feel ashamed about the way I have behaved in the past and deeply regret the hurt I have caused to my wife and kids, my parents and brothers and sisters, as well as the various victims of my crimes.
If I am permitted to remain in Australia I will not repeat the mistakes of my past. I am now in a different position to where I was before and with the love and support of my wife and children and wider family I can succeed.
All my family have noticed the huge difference in me since coming to gaol and getting help with my drug and alcohol dependence issues. I am also being properly medicated for my depression and I know with their support I will maintain my commitment to the medication and stay off drugs. I used drugs and alcohol to deal with problems but I know that I don't have to do this anymore.
I have done a lot of courses in gaol, like the DAAP, as well as receiving assistance and support from the prison psychologist. Attached is a report from the psychologist where they say that there has been a genuine and significant improvement in my behaviour and commitment to staying drug free and based on their observations they believe I have a low risk of reoffending, if I maintain my medication and stay away from drugs and alcohol.
As the letters from my wife and kids state, they want me to come back and live with them when I am released from gaol. My wife works full-time and the children, who are 5 and 7 years of age, are at school. My kids now respond to me better than ever, because they can see that I am a different man. I speak to the kids everyday before they go to school and they come and visit me once a week with their mother. As for my own work, my former boss has said he will re-employ me as soon as I get out of gaol. I am attaching a letter from him which says he is offering me a job.
My parents lost confidence in me when I was on drugs and committing offences and they didn't want anything to do with me because they thought I couldn't change. Their letter of support which is attached shows how they feel about me now. My sister has also written a letter of support and that is attached.
2. Age when I came to Australia and how long I've lived in Australia
I came to Australia with my mother, father and two older sisters and one brother when I was 15 years of age. Many of my aunts and uncles from both my father's and mother's family were already living in Australia. I have lived in Australia since that time, and have never been back to the country of my birth.
I did one year of school here and then left to get an apprenticeship as a panel beater. I worked at the same place for 5 years, until I had to give it up because of my drug issues. When I was at school I was a pretty good rugby player and I played for my school as well as club rugby on the weekends. Through out my apprenticeship I continued to play rugby every weekend and this kept me busy because I also had to train twice a week. I'd really like to get back into rugby when I am released from gaol and intend to do that. The friends I have at rugby don't drink lots and don't take drugs so I am more likely to stay away from bad influences if I surround myself with these friends.
3. The best interests of my children
I have two daughters, aged 5 and 7. They are both Australian citizens and have lived their whole lives in Australia. Before coming to gaol I lived with both the children and my wife, except for a short period just prior to this most recent offence. Even when I wasn't living with the children I used to telephone them most days.
When I lived with my family I was working and provided for the children financially and in many other ways. Because I finished work early I would collect both my daughters from day care and school every day. I would bring them home, bath them and make dinner so that my wife didn't need to do this when she arrived home. On the weekends we always spent time together as a family, going on picnics or to the pool which is close to our house, or the watch or play sport.
Since coming to prison one of the things I most miss about my life is the opportunity to be with my children. I still speak with them everyday before school and I see them most weeks when they come to visit but it is not the same as seeing them every day and having that level of contact. I realise I have let them down by my behaviour and I will not do this again.
If I had to leave Australia I would not see my children again, or at least for a very long time. My wife cannot afford to fly herself and the children to England and as I would not be allowed back into Australia this would be the end of our relationship. I would be leaving my children without a father. There is no way I would ask my wife and children to leave Australia to come with me. Australia is their home, it is all they know, they are settled and happy at school, they have lots of friends and support from my family and my wife's family.
I am very close to my parents and siblings, and they live close by to us, and the children have grown up around my family. My family, and my daughters, would be devastated if they had to leave their grandparents. They are also very close to my wife's family and would find it very difficult if they couldn't see them again.
4. Family ties and other relationships
My primary relationship is with my wife, Sarah, who I have been married to for over 10 years.
We met when we were at school and started going out when I was 17, just after I started working. She is an Australian citizen and was born in Australia. We have had some rough times but now are stronger than ever, particularly because I have shown her that I have changed. Although I have not worked for over 12 months, and for a few months before coming to gaol, prior to that I worked full time and Sarah relied on my wage to pay the mortgage. She has had to get a second job to keep the house but is relying on me getting out and getting a job so that she can start spending more time with the children. We would also like to have another child.
Both my parents, my two sisters and one brother and all their families live in Australia. They are all Australian citizens, and I am the only one of the family who is not.
I am particularly close to my mother, who is suffering ill health at the moment. She is very distressed at the thought of me having to leave Australia because she knows that due to her age and bad health she will not be able to travel to England to see me and this would mean I would not see her ever again. My father is also devastated by the prospect of having his eldest son leave permanently.
I have 2 aunts and 2 uncles living in Australia, as well as 5 cousins, their partners and children. I have 13 nieces and nephews and they all live in Sydney, all in the area where my wife and I live. Of these 13 children, 8 of them are under 18 years of age. I have a particularly special bond with my niece Olivia who is 7 years old and was born in the same week as my own daughter. She has pretty much grown up with my family and spends most of her time with us. She does not know I am in gaol because I was too ashamed to tell her, she thinks I have gone on a holiday and will be back soon.
Apart from having been diagnosed with severe depression, I have no other health conditions. Being made to leave Australia will obviously impact on my depression and although I will have access to the medication I need to treat it, without my family and my children I don't know how motivated I would be to keep on it. I fear that I will fall back into my old habits and go off the rails again.
6. Ties to England
As far as I know I have no close relatives in England. I have had no contact with anyone in England since my family moved to Australia many years ago. My aunts and uncles on both sides of my family live here, or in New Zealand. I simply do not know what I will do once I arrive there - I don't have a place to live, to work, I don't know my way around, I don't know about social security or the health system or anything like that.
I don't know what else I can say except that I hope you can take into account the things contained in this response. My life is my children and my wife and I do not want to lose them. I now realise that if I take drugs and get involved in trouble again I will lose them, and not only because I might be removed from Australia. My wife has said this is my last chance and if I don't step up this time, that is it. I believe that she means it and I know that I can respond and do the right thing by Australia and my wife and my children.
This is an example only. You will need to write about your own situation and circumstances in your own words. Refer back to 6. Instructions to remind you what information you need to include in your statement. Your statement may be a long one, like this example, or it could be shorter, depending on your situation.
I, Glen Afu Baker of John Morony Correctional Centre, the Northern Road, Windsor, in the State of New South Wales:
- I was born on 13 August 1978 in Auckland, New Zealand. My parents are originally from the Cook Islands. I am a New Zealand citizen.
- I have three brothers and two sisters. I am the third eldest of six children.
- I have been with my partner Sabrina for about 15 years. We have two children - Daniel born on 11 December 2002 and Chloe born on 13 August 2005. Sabrina and the kids are Australian citizens.
- When was I around 4 years of age my parents moved to Australia and have lived here since that time. All of my siblings live in Australia.
- All of my uncles and aunties from my mother's side live in Sydney. Some of my uncles from my dad's side also live in Australia, in Melbourne.
- I have not left Australia since arriving in 1982.
- I have no relatives that I know of in New Zealand. I have some extended family members in the Cook Islands but I don't know any of them and haven't had any contact with them ever.
- I attended Prescott Primary School in Merrylands. From there I went to Merrylands High School. I didn't do very well at school because I played up a lot and got into trouble. I was more interested in sport and was pretty good at rugby league.
- I left school at the end of Year 10 and started an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic with a friend of my father. I was doing OK, living at home, working hard, going out on the weekends with my friends.
- It was at this time that I met Sabrina and we have been together ever since.
- When we first got together she moved into my house with my parents and one of my brothers and both sisters. It was pretty crowded so eventually we moved out into a unit at Blacktown. I continued to work and Sabrina got a job too.
- Outside of work I spent lots of time playing footy. It was around this time I started drinking fairly heavily, mostly after training or football with my mates. I started turning up to training drunk, or not turning up at all. After a few suspensions for failing to turn up or showing up drunk I was kicked out of the Club.
- This was really important to me and I went off the rails after this. I kept drinking, and started turning up to work drunk. My boss was a good bloke and tried to give me advice but I didn't listen. Eventually I got sacked.
- Sabrina was still working but I had no job, no footy, no nothing so I started hanging around with a bunch of guys who were into drugs. I had lots of time on my hands.
- I started drinking more and more but eventually alcohol stopped having any effect on me. It was then that I started to smoke cannabis, around the age of 18. By the age of 19 I was smoking everyday.
- Because I wasn't working I had to do something to get money to buy drugs. Sabrina was working long hours and I wasn't contributing anything to the rent or food. I couldn't tell her about my drug habit, because she would have been really angry, so I couldn't get money from her.
- I started doing petty crime, things like stealing car stereos, then got into stealing cars and other robberies. I eventually got done for these offences. I got lots of fines and suspended sentences. I can't remember how many.
- When I was about 20 years of age I first smoked heroin. A few of my mates used to smoke and inject it and would offer it to me all the time. I was smoking pot and drinking but didn't want to touch heroin, thinking that was a drug only junkies took. I was hooked.
- It was from that point on that I started smoking heroin regularly. I had to support my drug habit and the only way to get sufficient money was to steal. I committed a lot of robbery, burglary and stealing offences and also got done for possession a few times.
- From about the age of 22 I have been in and out of gaol. When I wasn't in prison I was living with Sabrina.
- In 2002 Sabrina found out she was pregnant. I was really happy about the pregnancy but it didn't register that I needed to straighten up. I continued getting into trouble and eventually went back to prison. Daniel was born in December 2002 and I was luckily out of prison at the time of his birth.
- In 2007 Chloe was born. I was in prison at the time of her birth and she has spent much of her life seeing me in prison which is something I'm really ashamed of.
- For the entire time that I was in prison, Sabrina made sure that I saw her and the kids regularly. Even when I was in a prison outside of Sydney she would make the trip down on the bus.
- On the days that she and the kids couldn't visit I would ring them. I spoke to Sabrina every single day, often more than once a day. When Daniel and Chloe were old enough I spoke to them as well.
- My family also came to visit me as often as they could but it was hard for them because I spent much of my time in regional prisons like Goulburn, Junee and Lithgow and it was expensive to travel there.
Time in prison
- Since coming to prison I have had time to think about my life. I am clean and on a methadone program and I'm in a different place in my head. I no longer want to live the life I was living. I put my transformation down to the access I have had to professional help which helped me realise the mistakes I was making. Now I realise this I'm doing everything I can to straighten up my life.
- My prison record shows that I had lots of breaches when I was in prison. Most of these were committed before I got onto the methadone program. From the time I got onto the program I stopped getting into so much trouble. I also got a job in the prison and worked in that position for over 2 years. Although I wasn't earning much I paid $27.00 a week in child support and this helped a bit with expenses for the kids.
- I have done lots of courses in prison, including drug and alcohol counselling, relapse prevention and a mental fitness module of study covering stress, anger, control and planning for the future. There were other courses I would have done but they were run at the time I was working so I couldn't attend.
- Justice Health have recommended that I attend a rehab program when I am released. This is a rehabilitation program for people with substance abuse problems and runs four days a week for about 12 weeks. I wanted to get off methadone but have been told its best at this stage for me to stay on it, until I have adjusted to life outside.
- I haven't been a good father to my kids, or a good partner to Sabrina. Since I got off drugs and started on methadone I have come to realise this. I can't say I'm a dad because I've missed so much of their life and I realise that being a dad is something more than just being related to someone.
My current situation
- I truly believe I am a different person now. The reason I have changed my life is my kids and Sabrina. Without them I'd be nothing and I'd have nothing to look forward to.
- Sabrina and I have been together for about 15 years and she has stuck with me all that time, even when I was in prison. Apart from the times I have spent in custody, we have lived together that whole time and if I get out that is where I want to be living.
- I used to tell my son when he was younger that I was in the army, and that's why he had to come and visit me and I couldn't live with him at home. I didn't want him to think that I was a bad person.
- At school he does really well academically and is involved in lots of sports. He plays soccer as well as football, and although I have never seen him play Sabrina tells me he has real talent which makes me really proud. He knows that I used to play footy really well and we talk about it all the time.
- Even though I couldn't be there with the kids, Sabrina made sure that I was involved in all the decisions relating to them, like where they went to school, whether it was a good idea to put them into child-care, issues about discipline.
- I have missed so much in the lives of both of my kids. I missed Daniel's first day of school, first teeth, first footy game. Although I wasn't in prison when Chloe started school I was in and out for the first year of her schooling and missed so much. The kids are so excited that I'm getting out soon and tell me all the things we are going to do together, just simple things like watch the TV, go to the park, eating breakfast together. These are all the things I won't be able to do with the kids if I have to leave Australia.
- Sabrina and I have talked about what will happen if I am deported. She doesn't want us to be separated, and desperately wants the kids to have their dad because she grew up without her dad and she doesn't want this for our kids. On the other hand she has a life here and so do the kids. She is very close to her mother and her brothers. She is the only daughter in the family and doesn't want to leave her mum. The kids are also really close to their grandmother.
- The kids have a strong bond with my family too and if they were to leave this would also deprive the kids of my family, including my parents.
- If I were to leave Australia there is no way Sabrina and the kids could ever afford to visit me in New Zealand. Sabrina doesn't work because she's got the kids and money is tight.
- If I left this would be the end of our relationship. It would mean that I could never play a real parental role in the life of my kids and this is the only thing that has kept me going for the last couple of years - the prospect of getting out and being a real father. For the first time in my life I can say I have a goal and that goal is to be a real dad.
- Sabrina has been through a lot with me, and given me lots of chances. She says, and I believe her, that if things aren't different when I get out this time the relationship is over. I know she is serious and I don't want to lose her or the kids.
- It's finally registered in my head that it's time for me to pay back to Sabrina and step up and be a real man and a real dad. I also need to be the son my mum and dad once had. I just want a chance to live a happy, honest, normal life with Sabrina and my kids and the rest of my family.
Glenn Afu Baker
13 August 2011
20 Newtown Street
Oatley NSW 2223
National Character Consideration Centre
PO Box 241
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
SENT BY FAX TO (03) 9235 3626
29 August 2011
I am writing this letter of support for my brother, Douglas Williams. I am Doug's youngest sister and I arrived in Australia with him in 1970 with my parents and our other brother and sister.
I understand that DIAC is thinking of cancelling Doug's visa because of his criminal convictions and I am writing to ask you to consider the effect his removal from Australia would have on me and my family, including my parents.
Doug has had a lot of trouble with the law in the past. However, I believe his difficulties were caused by his drug addiction. He tried many times to stop taking drugs but has not been able to stop until he was sent to prison. He has undertaken courses in prison that have helped him to understand the terrible impact drugs have had on his life, and on the life of his family, as well as the life of the victims of his crimes. He tells me all the time that he is so sorry for the things he did.
Doug tells me that he has been clean for more than 9 months and I can see that he is now a different person. I visit him with my parents every month and when we cannot visit we telephone regularly. Doug has finally decided to turn his life around and I am certain that with our help he can do so. I have invited Doug to come and live with me and my family when he gets out of prison and I have spoken to his former employer who says he would be very happy to give Doug a job. I am enclosing a letter from his former employer confirming that Doug will have employment on his release from prison.
I know that Doug can change and be a better person. It would break my heart and destroy my mother if he were removed from Australia. If he were removed it would mean that we would never see him again because we cannot afford to travel to England to visit him. My parents are also very elderly and do not have the strength to travel. If he were removed it would mean the end of our relationship.
John Morony Correctional Centre
Locked Bag 655 Post Office
South Windsor NSW 2756
National Character Consideration Centre
PO Box 241
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
SENT BY FAX TO (03) 9235 3626
18 August 2011
Extension for Comments in Response to Notification of Intention to Consider Cancelling my Visa
Client ID: 1447245911
I am writing to request an extension of time to give you my comments in response to the Notice of intention to consider cancelling my visa dated 1 August 2011.
If possible I would like an extension of 4 weeks so that I can get more information for you to consider.
Please write to me and let me know whether I can have an extension and if I can please tell me what date you need all the information.