GP granted visa after ministerial intervention

A CASE of a Perth IMG advised by officials that his best chance of staying in Australia would be to divorce his wife, who has developed cancer, has brought the plight of IMGs attempting to practise in Australia sharply into focus.

GP Dr Cesar Sofocado was last week granted a permanent visa, along with his family, but only after the Immigration Minister was forced to intervene in his case.

After moving to Australia in 2005, Dr Sofocado and his family applied for permanent residency in 2008. 

Between that initial application and the department’s reply in 2010, Dr Sofocado’s wife Mary developed breast cancer. 

Despite three major operations and chemotherapy, the cancer  spread to her lungs, and Mrs Sofocado is now having palliative care.

Dr Sofocado said his case officer advised him the department would “definitely deny or refuse” his family’s Visa applications based on his wife’s