Visa for surgery denied
The medical treatment visa was refused for surgery in Australia for my young Afghan friend, aged 20, who has a congenital facial deformity. Letters of support from the craniofacial surgeon plus my assurance of financial support during the eight weeks for surgery and recovery carried no weight. No avenue for appeal was permitted. One reason given was that there wasn’t evidence of a family connection or employment to return to, nor was there evidence in the passport of previous travel. I don’t recall questions on the application form relating to these statements. It was assumed my friend would not return to his country and he was coldly deprived of the “fine face” he’s longed for all his life. Obviously I don’t know the right people (Gadfly, “Minister for foreign au pairs”, September 1–7).