By Amina Youssef
Asylum seekers claiming protection status in Australia may be refused a visa if it is found that they could relocate to a safer part of their home country where they would not be at risk of harm. As an exception to the rule, in SZATV v MIAC  HCA 40; (2007) 233 CLR 18, it was held that refugees could still meet the criteria so long as they could show that it would be practically unreasonable given the circumstances to expect them to relocate.
The following scenarios shed light on when the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has concluded that it would be unreasonable to expect the applicant to relocate:
- A divorced Turkish woman, who feared harm from her violent ex-husband, would not be expected to relocate especially since she would not have any family support available to her and country information showed the sparse availability of shelters in Turkey.
- In the case of a village elder applicant who was able to produce medical reports about his deteriorating mental health resulting from past traumatic events, it was found that relocation within Pakistan would result in an irretrievable break down of his mental health, and he would be unemployed and unable to fend for himself and his family.
Note that the above is not a blanket rule and that each case should be considered separately. For example, in some countries it may still be possible for mental health patients to relocate as long as they have government support and access treatment programs, and are able to gain employment that would not impact on their ability to subsist.
Please note the above is just a general information and does not constitute legal advice.