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Has this man been denied a visa because… he’s Christian?

Article image for Has this man been denied a visa because… he’s Christian?

A woman is fighting to have her Christian brother-in-law accepted into the country for a holiday, after his visa was denied based on his religion.

Barsoum lives in Egypt, owns a business and has a wife and two daughters.

He wants to visit Australia for a three month holiday, to visit his brother Rez who he hasn’t seen in 11 years and who’s sick with cancer.

He also wants to attend a wedding while he’s in the country.

But his application for a Family Sponsored Visitor Visa has been refused by the Department of Home Affairs.

Barsoum was told he was rejected because he’s a Coptic Christian, a targetted minority group in Egypt.

The Home Affairs Department has said:

“Departmental records indicate that the incidence of Christians from similar circumstances who attempt to change their status while in Australia is high…

“Therefore I have concerns that the applicant’s background may act as a disincentive to comply with his visa conditions while in Australia or depart within the validity of his visa.”

Barsoum’s sister-in-law Mary Eskandar says they didn’t expect he’d be rejected.

“We thought we had all the necessary grounds to have him here on a holiday,” she tells Ben Fordham.

“We were so shocked to see that… the main reason for him being refused a holiday visa was because he’s Christian.”

She says they’re considering an appeal, but that could cost them $1700.

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Ben Fordham
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