Telephone Calls Suspect


Investigations by telephone are problematical and in Urdinov 071806911 [2008] MRTA 930 (9.10.08), the approach was to tackle the problem head on.  Here the applicant alleged that the telephone call was to a junior staff member rather than to the manager and this explained the adverse finding.  Again the fact that the employer had made a visit to see the visa applicant was very favourable.

•36.              The Tribunal notes the delegate’s concerns about the bona fides of the first named visa applicant’s claimed qualifications and experience. However, there is no evidence whatsoever on the Department file to indicate on what basis this assessment was made. There is no report of any site visit, of any telephone calls made by the delegate or other Department officers and no evidence of any other checks being performed to verify the information provided by the first named visa applicant. At the hearing, the first named visa applicant claimed that the Department’s decision was based on a telephone call made to a junior employee of the restaurant where the information provided was misinterpreted by the Department. It was further claimed that the Department did not visit the restaurant, did not speak to the manager of the restaurant and did not speak to the first named visa applicant but instead relied on the evidence from this one telephone call. There is no record on the Department file whatsoever of this telephone call.

•37.              In the absence of any such evidence indicating the basis on which the Department made such adverse findings against the first named visa applicant, the Tribunal does not draw any such adverse inferences whatsoever about the qualifications and experience claimed by the first named applicant and about any associated documentation provided in support of these claims.

Barbara Davidson