51. 2014 – Refugee Tribunal



1. 2012 – DIAC – The removal path
2. 2012 – DIAC: A gentleman
3. 2014 – Red Cross
4. 2014 – Life certificate

2012 – DIAC: The removal path

Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free;  We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil; Our home is girt by sea; Our land abounds in nature’s gifts Of beauty rich and rare; In history’s page, let every stage Advance Australia Fair. In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair.

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 

2012 – DIAC: A gentleman

I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then


26.09.12 – DIAC to AB

This email is to remind you that I have scheduled an interview for you today.

As advised in my letter of 10/09/2012, please ensure you attend this office at 3pm.

The address is Level 3, 26 Lee Street, Sydney.

If you do not attend this interview, I may make a decision on your application bases on the information already provided by you.

Your sincerely,

Vincent Tysoe
Case Officer
Department of Immigration and Citizenship

26.09.12 – AB to DIAC

Thank you and I will be there at 3pm.


31.10.12 – DIAC to AB


Dear Mr Bodenstein, 

I am writing in regard to your application for a Protection visa and my interview with you on 26/09/2012.As discussed at interview, you mentioned that your mother, Batya Lofianski, may have citizenship of Lithuania. 

It is possible that if your mother is considered to be a citizen of Lithuania, you may also be considered to be a citizen of Lithuania under that country’s citizenship laws or at least able to apply for such a right.

In order for me to determine your entitlement to Lithuanian citizenship, it would be appreciated if you could provide the following information:

1.       Evidence of your mother’s citizenship of Lithuania such as a passport or any other documentation held that indicates she was resident in Lithuania and held citizenship prior to her leaving Lithuania;

2.       The date she left Lithuania and her reason for leaving; &

3.       The date she acquired citizenship of Israel

Please forward this documentation to me at the Department’s office at Level 3, 26 Lee Street, Sydney.  

Upon receipt of this information, I will be able to consider your application for protection further. I can be contacted on telephone 02 8862 6581 if you wish to speak with me about this matter.

Yours sincerely,  

Vincent Tysoe

Case Officer

Onshore Protection NSW

Department of Immigration and Citizenship


05.11.12 – DIAC to AB

Dear MR Vincent,

1. My Phone is 0415 247 360.

2. My Mother date of birth is 8 July 1929 – Kelmė, Lithuania.

3. I am working on the requirements and will keep you posted.

Thank you for being an officer and a gentlemen!

2014 – Red Cross

Be patient and you will finally win, for a soft tongue can break hard bones.


05.06.13 – DIAC


Dear Mr Bodenstein,

I need to speak with you about you application for a Protection visa. 

Could you please call me on 02 8862 6581 as soon as you are able to.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely
Vincent Tysoe
Onshore Protection NSW Department of Immigration and Citizenship

28.10.13 – DIBP


Dear Mr Bodenstein,

I am writing in regard to our conversation of June 2013 regarding your acquisition of a Lithuanian passport on the basis of your mother’s nationality.

The last time we spoke, you were seeking evidence from your mother to allow you apply for a Lithuanian passport.  It would be much appreciated if you could inform me in writing of any progress you have made in this matter. 

Thank you. 

Your sincerely,

Vincent Tysoe
Onshore Protection NSW
Department of Immigration and Border Protection


29.10.13 – AB

Dear Mr Tysoe, 

I currently don’t hold a mobile number. I can be reached via phone through Ms Robyn Greaves, Kings Cross Community Center – 9357 2164. She is aloud to speak on my behalf.

I believe that by January 2014, I will have here in Sydney, the required legal evidence for my Lithuanian passport.   If it OK with you, I will contact you via email some time around mid January 2014 to schedule a meeting, in which I’ll provide the above.   

Respectfully yours,

Amir Bodenstein

15.11.13 – DIBP


Dear Mr Bodenstein,

Thank you for your email message below.

I recognise that it may be difficult for you to obtain the documentation necessary for you to apply for a Lithuanian passport, however, I am unable to delay my decision on your Protection visa application until mid-January.  Instead, I will allow you up until close of business 13 December 2013 in which to provide any further documentation.  After that time I will need to proceed to a decision.  

Please contact me if you wish to discuss this matter further.

Your sincerely,

Vincent Tysoe
Onshore Protection NSW
Department of Immigration and Border Protection

30.11.13 – KCCC


30.11.13 – My Brother

It is great being here and see your two wonderful kids. Abba and me had Ice Cream with Roni today at Kenyon Ramat Aviv and then dinner with everybody this evening.

Hope to hear from you soon,


30.11.13 – AB

Thank you for the photo. I opened it, and wow, this is A Yalda Sheli. Sorry, that I took Abba into some dark places, yet the issue of Emma’s documents are immediate, and in general I would like to have some of my dear Emma’s photos. Please keep me posted.

Happy Hanuka

Amir Bodenstein

05.12.13 – My Brother

Hi Amir,

Sorry that Dad doesn’t want to talk to you.  I tried.

I had  a two hour lunch with Roni today – she is great – I really love her.  And very smart and talented.  Too bad Tomer left on a trip today so I couldn’t see him today.  But he is great too.

I looked for Mother’s birth certificate.  So far I just found her Israeli Identity Card that says that she was born in Lita.  Abba doesn’t remember where the birth certificate is – I told him that I would like to see it myself, not for you.  I will look for it tomorrow morning and will let you know if I find it.



02.12.13 – AB

Thanks for all the help and support along the years, specially the care that you give Abba. I looked also at the family photo, lovely, good, dear and nice family we have. I’m happy for Abba to have this Lady’s companionship.

Emma’s Israeli Identity Card that says that she was born in Lita – is an important document start and even if you have just that, please find away that Roni get the Original ASAP. With Emanuel’s Lithuanian passport it might be enough to start with.

Have a safe & nice journey back home.

02.12.13 – My Brother

Hi Amir,

I can’t give you the original one. Abba needs it for Imma. I can send you a Notarized copy.


02.12.13 – AB

The Notarized copy should stay with Roni, no time and use to send it to Australia, as it will be probability be presented at the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv. I have few friends that are lawyers in Israel, so if it is not had been Notarized yet, they might be able to help. Still, it is her Lithuanian passport that would save a lot of headache. 

Good luck and have a good day, hachi

05.12.13 – AB

Dear Mr Tysoe,   

On 13 December 2013, I can provide at the Australian embassy in Tel- Aviv, the following:  

1. My mother’s Israeli Identity Card that says that she was born in Lithuania.  

2. The Lithuanian passport of my mother’s younger brother.

Respectfully yours,

Amir Bodenstein 

06.12.13 – My Brother

Hi Amir,

Imma’s notarized Identity Card is enclosed.



06.12.13 – AB

Is it possible for you to notarize it in English?

06.12.13 – Email

The mentioned documents will be send to you via email next week.

06.12.13 – Lithuania

If you do have the capability to notarize it into English, please make sure that the place of birth is: Lithuania.

Many Thanks, Amir

06.12.13 – Keep you posted

Hi Amir,

I have no idea where I can translate it.  I will try to find out.  And when someone notarizes something you can’t tell them how to translate it.  Can you try to find someone to translate it?


I found this place and sent them an e-mail – I will keep you posted.


07.12.13 – Was & is Lithuania


[DELETED HEBREW TEXT]: Lietuvos Respublika.

Please also be aware that it was written with – ה instead of א.

Orly might need to see the original ID.

[DELETED HEBREW TEXT] in fact was & is Lithuania.

07.12.13 – Notarization

OK, I will keep you posted.

Ohad   Also, she asked me – ‘Also, are you sure that you need notarization and not certification?’

08.12.13 – Bodenstein Batia

I don’t know what is the difference between ‘notarization’ and ‘certification’ so try to chose the more expensive option, yet the fastest one.

Alternatively, an English Electronic Document that confirm the authenticity of the scanned/copy of the Hebrew notarised – original Israeli Identity Card No…:  

Surname: Bodenstein
First Name: Batya
Father’s name: Menhaem
Mother’s name: Shossana
Date of birth: 08 July 1929
Place of birth: Lithuania
Gender: Female
Religion: Jewish
Date & Place of issue: Tel-Aviv on 07 July 1986  

(Cheers, Amir)

08.12.13 – Me to my wife


It is nice to see that Roni took her beauty from both of us. Please, open a gmail account & upload the scanned pages of my uncle’s Lithuanian passport into yours Google drive. Also, in general I don’t want to send you emails through your work place. 

10.12.13 – Me to my brother

What ever you will have (part of what you already sent), I need it as an electronic document by the end of this Thursday, 12 December 2013 (Australian time).

Many Thanks, Amir 

10.12.13 – Me to my wife

Please send me the mentioned scans via gmail, by the end of this Thursday, 12 December 2013 (Australian time).

Thank You, Amir

01.12.13 – My wife to me


12.12.13 – Also notarize it

Hi Amir,

Is that good?

If it is good they will also notarize it.


12.12.13 – Nationality

Dear Hachi,

1. {The State of Israel Emblem – ?

2. Religion: Jewish

And if they can take the picture 1 space down, it will be excellent.

Thank You, Amir

It will be great if they can put Emma’s picture at the right side, just to edit it nicely & notarising it. I need it by tomorrow, Friday 13.12.13, Australian time.   

I can’t see because of the size, but I think that Jewish is the ‘Nationality’ – לאום and not the religion?

13.12.13 – My mother’s Israeli ID

Please find enclosed my mother’s Israeli ID notarised in English.

I believe that the scans of my mother’s younger brother’s Lithuanian Passport will be sent to you by the beginning of next week.

Respectfully Yours,

Amir Bodenstein


19.12.13 – Lithuanian authorities


Thank you Amir, I have been able to open the document. 

I will contact you again about the possibility of assistance in approaching the Lithuanian authorities.


Vincent Tysoe
Onshore Protection NSW
Department of Immigration and Border Protection

21.12.13 – Sydney Morning Herald

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has identified asylum seekers congregating in large numbers in apartments as the type of ”antisocial” behaviour that could see them thrown into detention under a new code of conduct for more than 20,000 irregular immigrants living in the community on bridging visas.

Under previous arrangements, anyone on a bridging visa alleged to have broken the law and facing criminal proceedings was returned to detention while the matter made its way through the courts, but the new code greatly widens the types of behaviour that can lead to the penalty.

These include ”antisocial and disruptive activities that are inconsiderate, disrespectful or threaten the peaceful enjoyment of other members of the community”.

”There have been complaints that have been received about antisocial behaviour in terms of overcrowding in particular accommodation that have caused a nuisance to nearby residents and distressed elderly residents as well,” Mr Morrison said on Friday.

”Currently there’s no provision to really manage that behaviour.”

People on bridging visas have extremely limited work rights and receive less than $250 a week in welfare payments. They can wait up to five years to have their refugee status determined under the ”no advantage test” introduced by the former Labor government.

As a result, many can be crammed into accommodation to help save money, although Mr Morrison said this was not necessarily the type of overcrowding that would be deemed antisocial.

He pointed to ”large numbers of people turning up to particular places and places that are being rented, and that is not where they were living”.

The new code, and the example cited by Mr Morrison of antisocial behaviour, was attacked by the opposition, with Labor’s immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, saying ”it reeks of being mean for the sake of it”.

”If people are breaking the law, there should be consequences,” Mr Marles said.

”But one of the key standards in Australia is the standard of fairness.

”A situation where you don’t break the law but you have simply upset someone and, without being tested, a person is put in detention or even sent off shore is concerning. That is not fair.”

Disobeying road rules, failing to comply with an instruction to undertake health treatment, or refusing to co-operate with officials as they review their refugee claims are also deemed to be breaches of the code.

Mr Morrison confirmed that asylum seekers on bridging visas could be sent back to detention without breaking the law, but he said it would require serial breaches.

”I think it is quite helpful to be quite specific with people who are given the opportunity to live in the community what is expected of them. To assume they just know is naive,” he said.

He noted that in serious cases, asylum seekers in the community could be sent to Nauru and Manus Island.

Mr Morrison said the government wasn’t contending that asylum seekers on bridging visas were more likely to commit crimes than the rest of the community but he pointed out that since the election, ”two illegal maritime arrivals have been charged with criminal offences each week”.

These include charges and convictions relating to murder, theft, indecent assault of a minor, assault with a weapon, driving under the influence, attempting to procure drugs, and people-smuggling.

Meanwhile, Mr Morrison said he didn’t ”backflip” when reversing his freeze on new protection visas for asylum seekers, arguing the regulation was no longer necessary because he has since introduced stronger rules.

But legal experts and the Greens say Mr Morrison is engaged in legal ”trickery” and his new regulation would either be struck down by the High Court or reversed when the Senate reconvenes in February.

Fact Sheet 62 

The Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme (ASAS)

The Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme (ASAS) is administered by the department’s contracted service providers. ASAS provides financial assistance to protection visa applicants, who satisfy specific eligibility criteria, to enable them to engage with the department in progressing their application for protection. The level of financial assistance offered to asylum seekers is less than that offered to Australian citizens under similar living arrangements. ASAS also facilitates casework assistance through professionals employed by the service provider to relieve difficulties experienced by vulnerable asylum seekers in the Australian community.

The ASAS eligibility criteria are described below. For those asylum seekers who arrived lawfully and wish to apply for ASAS, they should approach an office of the Red Cross in the capital city of their nearest state or territory.

Access to Medicare for asylum seekers

Some protection visa applicants may be eligible for Medicare, the Australian Government’s health insurance scheme.

Further information on asylum seeker eligibility for Medicare can be obtained from the Department of Human Services website.

Fact Sheet 62. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Canberra.

06.02.14 – Medical assistance

Hi Amir,

This is Katie from Asylum Seekers Centre. We spoke on the phone yesterday afternoon.

Sorry that ASC is not able to assist you further. As discussed, please find attached information on other services in Sydney you might like to try. In particular, you might like to approach Red Cross (Town Hall office) about Emergency Assistance, as well as ASAS. You might also like to speak with your Department of Immigration and Border Protection case officer about the CAS program. You might be eligible for CAS if you are planning on leaving Australia as you said yesterday.

In terms of health care/dental, I can only suggest that you try Haymarket Foundation. Their details are as follows:

Address: 165b Palmer Street, East Sydney NSW 2010 Telephone: 9331 1969 Email: sisters@haymarket.org.au

I thought that the Dental Hospital might have been helpful too, but it seems that you have already tried them. Maybe the other services you are in contact with, e.g. Matthew Talbot and Foster House, have some ideas (although I assume you have already checked).

Again, sorry we can’t assist further. I hope these services are useful.

Best wishes,


14.02.14 – Sydney Morning Herald

A Senate Committee will examine on Friday whether or not Australia should get rid of laws that prevent our government from deporting people to places where they are at risk of being killed, tortured, or exposed to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Known as “complementary protection”, these laws were enacted only 18 months ago for good reason. Although the government acknowledges that international human rights law prohibits it from returning people to such abuses, it wants the Immigration Minister personally to decide every case. This would be a retrograde step. It would bring back enormous inefficiencies to a system that is already choked, and would remove the checks and balances that the current legislation provides. There is also a risk that some cases would never be examined at all, since the minister’s power is completely discretionary.

The importance of complementary protection was highlighted last Thursday, when the High Court issued an injunction preventing the Immigration Minister from returning a 65-year-old Hazara asylum seeker from Afghanistan. The court held that the Refugee Review Tribunal had not properly considered his complementary protection claims, and there was sufficient evidence to suggest that if he were deported without proper consideration of his claim, he could be killed (as a number of other asylum seekers removed by Australia had been).

The case is important for two reasons. First, it shows why the government’s proposals before Parliament to repeal our complementary protection provisions are worrying. The High Court found that previous decision makers had made a mistake in their application of the law. Yet, if this had been a purely discretionary decision by the minister, then a court wouldn’t have had the power to review it. In other words, the man would have been deported and possibly exposed to death or other very serious human rights violations in Afghanistan.

Secondly, the case shows what a system of checks and balances is all about. As in any other areas of the law, it is important to ensure that decisions can be checked for error – especially when the outcome might be a matter of life or death. The problem with the government’s desire to return to a wholly discretionary approach is that no review is possible. In fact, the minister can’t even be compelled to exercise his discretion to examine the complementary protection claim in the first place. This means that there is no guarantee that an asylum seeker’s claim that she might be tortured, for instance, will be assessed, and even if it is, then there is no way to have the decision reviewed. The result is that Australia may unlawfully send people back to serious harm, violating our international law obligations – and surely our basic understandings of humanity and decency – in the process.

This week, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (an even spread of Liberal and Labor members, plus a member from the Nationals and the Greens) concluded that the government’s proposed changes to complementary protection not only risked violating Australia’s non-refoulement obligations, but also contravened other rights under international law, such as the right to an effective remedy, the right to a fair hearing, and the right not to be arbitrarily detained. It said that the government’s suggestion that the ministerial discretion process could satisfy Australia’s human rights obligations was nothing more than “a series of unsupported assertions”.

The Senate Committee would therefore be wise to recommend that complementary protection stay on the books. It is a transparent and functional process that allows for procedural fairness. It enables protection claims to be heard and disposed of more quickly. It is much more efficient than the ministerial process that the government wants to reinstate – a process that former Immigration Minister Chris Evans described as a vast waste of ministerial time, and tantamount to one person “playing God” with asylum seekers’ futures.

Complementary protection implements Australia’s international obligations in a clear and systematic way, and provides for checks and balances. It brings us into step with what other democratic countries do, like the 28 countries of the European Union, as well as Canada, New Zealand, the US, Hong Kong and Mexico. And it does not lead to an opening of the floodgates: last year, only 57 of 1200 protection visas granted onshore were for reasons of complementary protection – less than 5 per cent. In short, the government’s proposed repeal of complementary protection and return to a non-compellable and non-reviewable discretion is at odds with Australia’s absolute duty to respect the principle of non-refoulement under international human rights law.

Author: Jane McAdam is Scientia Professor of Law and the director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW.

18.02.14 – IOM


Dear Mr Bodenstein,

I am writing in regard to our previous conversation about obtaining assistance from this Department in liaising with the Lithuanian authorities about your application for a Lithuanian passport.

The Department is unable to assist you in doing this, however, it may be possible for you to seek assistance from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).  

The contact details for IOM are:

Suite 2, Level 11
49-51 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Ph: 02 9248 2160
FAX: 02 9248 2199

I hope this assists.

Yours sincerely, 

Vincent Tysoe
Onshore Protection NSW
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Telephone: 02 8862 6581

xx.03.14 – Emergency dental care

The Honorable Tanya Plibersek MP,

1. Around 2 years ago, I was in touch with your staff members about my immigration matter, also meeting yourself in that regard. 

2. Since around the middle of last year I am an asylum seeker, and I hold a bridging visa E until the Department will make a decision on my ‘Protection Visa On Shore’ application.

3. I currently with no income or any other financial support, sleeping rough at Wolloomooloo, and begging for money at Kings Cross. 

4. I made numerous attempts with different agencies, which include [ADD TEXT HERE], all of which were futile at this current stage.

5. Recently I am in an urgent need for dental care and it will be most appreciated if you would be able to assist me with getting some help.

Thank you,
Amir Bodenstein  DOB: (17 May 1961)

01.05.14 – Ruth

Hi Amir,

As I mentioned during our phone conversation earlier I have found some information that may be useful in accessing dental assistance.

I did speak with the Sydney Dental Hospital about people with Protection visas being processed accessing dental services.  The Patient Liaison Officer told me that the agreement the Hospital has with the Red Cross is that they only accept clients who have a Code 1 emergency complaint or injury

I then phoned the Red Cross who did advise that they have an Emergency Relief Department that has a lists of pro bono dentists they can link clients up with.  You will need to present to the Red Cross Office next week (this area of Red Cross is not staffed today or tomorrow due to staff on personal leave, so encouraged you to come to next week) and mention our office was in contact with them last week and they advised to present and ask for assistance.  They will do an initial assessment, basically what application you have in the system, what supports you are linked to, etc. and then will refer you to the Emergency Relief Department who will be able to do the link to dentists.

The address for Red Cross is:  Level 3, 464 Kent Street, Sydney.

Let me know if you need any further assistance.

Best wishes,


Ruth Graver
Electorate Officer
Office of the Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP
Federal Member for Sydney
Deputy Leader of the Opposition | Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Development

07.05.14 – Ruth to AB

Dear Amir,

Please find following an e-mail I have sent to the State Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, asking for advice on the policy for asylum seekers visiting the Sydney Dental Hospital.  I will let you know once I receive a response from his office.

If you would like to contact his office directly you can do so by phoning 9360 3053 or on e-mail at sydney@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

Best wishes,


07.05.14 – Ruth to Mr Greenwich MP

Dear Sydney EO,

I am writing on behalf of a constituent, Mr Amir Bodenstein, who is currently applying for asylum in Australia and is residing at the Matthew Talbot Hostel.

He is experiencing some dental issues and was hoping to attend the Sydney Dental Hospital.  I spoke with Angela Pappadopolous the Patient Liaison Officer who advised that the Hospital only saw asylum seekers who were experiencing extremely urgent (life threatening) dental issues.  If this was not the case she encouraged me to make contact with the Red Cross as the Hospital refers asylum seekers who do not fit eligibility to them. 

I have spoken with the Red Cross and arranged for Mr Bodenstein to visit them this week but after speaking with him they advised him there is an eight week assessment period even before they will be able to look at any dental assistance.  Mr Bodenstein contacted our office again this afternoon to advise that he has found a fact sheet that shows the information that was provided to me by the Hospital was incorrect and in actual fact they should be able to see him as an asylum seeker.  He is unable to provide me with a copy of the fact sheet but I said I would contact the State Member’s office and see if they were able to clarify if this is correct. 

Can you double check for me what the policy is for asylum seekers requesting assistance from the Sydney Dental Hospital.  I would greatly appreciate this.

Many thanks,


Provision of public health services to Medicare ineligible asylum seeker 


The general directive is that persons not holding health care concession cards may receive emergency treatment only (refer to PD2008_056, Priority Oral Health Program and List Management Protocols). However, in addition to emergency care, PD2008_066: Eligibility of Persons for Public Oral Health Services in NSW, also indicates that urgent oral health treatment comprising of an episodic course of care may be provided to a person who is unable to prove eligibility due to their asylum seeker status. The person must be referred to the Oral Health Service by an established agency and the usual burden of proof of eligibility may be waived in these circumstances. 

24.06.14 – 


Dear Mr Bodenstein

I am writing in regard to your application for a Protection visa.  

It would be appreciated if you could let me know if you have made any progress with your enquiries about your immigration status with the Lithuanian authorities.

Thank you.

Your sincerely,

Vincent Tysoe
Onshore Protection NSW
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Telephone: 02 8862 6581
Email: vincent.tysoe@immi.gov.au

2014 – Life Certificate

Re: Help!

Dear Ezra,

1. Please find attached the up to date Life Verification, signed at Sydney by a Justice of the Peace, a copy of which was sent today via post to the Israeli Embassy at Canberra, Australia.

2. I was not fully aware of my duty to resend my Life Verification every year and neither my wife nor I, received any notice regarding this renewal requirement, while our address for any communication remained the same as before (also as for the last and only Life Verification till now).

3. Attached is a letter from Tel Aviv Council addressed to my wife, which states that it would cancel the discount on the Council Tax of my family residential address, because I don’t appear any more in the Ministry of Security as eligible for a disability pension benefits.

4. Attached is a letter from the Israeli Broadcasting Authority on this matter, and it seems that my disability pension benefits were cut, which might had lead to the cancellation of my family’s membership of the Combat House (Beit-Halohem) as this benefit money was transferred directly to cover this membership cost. 

5. It would be most appreciated if you would assist me to rectify the standing issues with the Tel Aviv Council, as well as with the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, the transfer of money to the Combat House for membership already owed and updating any other body that could been affected by my Renewed Life Verification.

Your help would be most helpful,
Thank you,
Amir Bodenstein