Expat files for judicial review

A High Court in Suva ruling on January 10 reveals the Fiji Immigration Department had detained and deported an expatriate from Fiji in December 2021 for not possessing valid permits to stay in Fiji.

Rachel Wailana Whalen-Holderbaum of Waisalima, Nakasaleka, Kadavu was listed in the ruling as a company director and her lawyers had filed a writ of habeas corpus and sought leave to apply for a judicial review on the decision to remove her from Fiji.

Justice Lyone Seneviratne said in his ruling that the permanent secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister, Sugar Industry and Immigration, Yogesh Karan, had issued a warrant of detention and removal order of Ms Whalen-Holderbaum on April 3, 2020.

The judge noted the application for judicial review was filed on December 17, 2021.

“The applicant was ordered to be deported on the basis that she was not a valid permit holder (Section 13(2)(a) of the Immigration Act 2003).

“If the court condones acts of this nature, it will create a very unhealthy precedence that any immigrant whose permit has expired can come to court and challenge his deportation which will be detrimental to good administration.”

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