In an Australian television first, SBS cameras were granted privileged access inside the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, where applicants and their lawyers make their case directly to a single judge. The series captures the key moments as applicants prepare their cases, subject themselves to the scrutiny of the system and ultimately receive the news that will change their lives forever. For some of the applicants, these are life or death decisions.
We meet Australian woman Stephanie who is fighting to keep her French husband Fares in Australia after he overstayed his original visa by 10 years. Australian man Harry and his Indonesian wife Viona face being split up and their children forced to leave due to a paperwork error. Peruvian man Luciano may be made to move back to Peru, without his partner Drew or the HIV medication he depends on, and the Irish Hyde family may all have to leave as their son has cystic fibrosis.
SBS Director of TV and Online Content, Marshall Heald, says: “Away from the noisy headlines and politics lie the deeply moving stories of people who want to call Australia home and make a life in this country. Who Gets To Stay in Australia? puts a human face to the Australian immigration process. The stories are raw, heartbreaking, triumphant and full of hope, in equal measure. We hope it will encourage a deeper understanding of the thousands of people who go through this journey.”
To provide explanation and further discussion on the immigration process based on their experiences in the sector, the series features interviews with Amanda Vanstone (former Minister for Immigration & Multicultural Affairs, 2003–2007), Abul Rizvi, (who worked for the Department of Immigration for 17 years and left as the Deputy Secretary, 1990–2007), Jan Redfern (Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal) and Dr Shanthi Robertson (Migration Sociologist from Western Sydney University).
The series is narrated by actress Brooke Satchwell (Sea Change).
Who Gets To Stay in Australia? is an ITV Studios Australia production for SBS. Principal production investment from SBS in association with Screen Australia.