On 21st of May, 2013, a 26-year- old Vietnamese woman, Thi Hong Tran, who is an international student in Australia was convicted for cultivating narcotic crops of commercial quantity. Even though she was convicted, she continued to attend her classes and take on menial jobs to support herself. But on August 2015, her student visa expired and she was denied to extend her visa.
According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Tran has failed to pass her character test.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has overruled the decision considering that Tran will not commit any further crime in futurer. Her ruling stated, “Her naivety and her misplaced understanding that she should not ask her parents for further finances led her to placing herself in that position. It was a position from which she could not extricate herself once she knew the address of the house and the nature of the undertaking. Were she to repeat her behavior, the consequences for the Australian community would be serious. I find, however, that she is very unlikely to do that.”
One of the primary reasons of the Tribunal’s decision is due to the fact that there were no past criminal records of Tran prior to her original sentence. The decision made by the Deputy President Forgie, the Tribunal member was considerate while stating the hurdles an international student has to go through when they come to Australia, due to exposure of new culture and lifestyle.
The tribunal noted, “If it were the case that the risk of her re-offending was moderate or high, the impact upon her would be of little weight. I would not want to see a young person's life be changed by one bad decision when she was a long way from home and has since done so much to rehabilitate herself and earned the respect of her counsellors as well as of her husband and friends.”