mid-day impact: Brothers from Mumbai get visa power to go to Australia

The joy of Jignesh Sanghrajka and his brother Mehul knew no bounds after the Australian High Commission approved their visas within a few hours following mid-day’s report; they will now watch the winner lift the ICC World Cup 2015 trophy at the MCG on March 29

Just a couple of days ago, 28-year-old Jignesh Sanghrajka was feeling like he’d won the lottery, but misplaced the ticket. Yesterday, he said he felt like a VVIP, and with good reason.

Mehul (left) and Jignesh Sanghrajka. Jignesh had correctly predicted that India would win the February 15 match against Pakistan and won the contest. Pic/Shadab Khan
Mehul (left) and Jignesh Sanghrajka. Jignesh had correctly predicted that India would win the February 15 match against Pakistan and won the contest. Pic/Shadab Khan

For, come March 29, Jignesh and his brother will be at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, watching the winner lift the trophy of the ICC World Cup 2015. They will then retire in their five-star hotel room, before heading out to meet their sister in Adelaide.

mid-day’s report on Sunday
mid-day’s report on Sunday

The Marine Lines resident’s dream had nearly been crushed after the Australian High Commission denied him and his brother a visa despite them winning an all-expense paid trip to the country for the final.

Barely 24 hours after mid-day reported their plight in the Sunday edition, however, the high commission got in touch with them and their visas were granted within a few hours. The Acting Australian High Commissioner said in a statement: “We are pleased to advise that the matter has been resolved and the visa has been approved.

We hope that Mr Sanghrajka enjoys his visit to Australia and the match.” An elated Jignesh could not hide his emotions. “I have never felt so overwhelmed before in my life. My parents can’t stop crying. I would like to thank mid-day, who first brought our issue to light.

This trip wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the media. I had lost all hopes after our visas were rejected, but it feels like a miracle has happened and we are getting to go again,” Jignesh told mid-day yesterday.

Highs and lows
Last month, Jignesh, who works with a start-up, had won the Emirates India Facebook contest, which included two return economy-class tickets, stay at a five-star hotel and tickets for the March 29 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Jignesh had decided to take his 41-year-old brother, Mehul, with him for the trip.

However, on March 18, the Sanghrajka brothers received a letter from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection stating that their visas were rejected on ‘financial grounds’ and that they were not satisfied that, considering their income, ‘a genuine visit is intended’.

The Australian media (print and radio) too started tracking the story following Sunday mid-day’s report. Yesterday, Jignesh received a call from the Australian High Commission in Mumbai to reach the nearest VFS Global office (visa agents). They filled a fresh visa form, paid Rs 16,760 as visa charges and submitted their passport copies.

No other documents were required this time. “We completed the formalities and, within a couple of hours, we received an email from the Australian High Commission approving our visas. We were stunned. Getting a visa in a few hours was simply unbelievable. We are feeling like VVIPs at the moment,” said Jignesh.

Mehul, who is an investment consultant and an insurance agent, said he was hoping something would work out by Wednesday, a day before their scheduled departure. “There was a glimmer of hope that something positive would happen after the Australian High Commission’s statement (on Sunday) that they would look into our matter again.

There is a high chance that our visas got rejected due to the heavy rush of fans wanting to go to Australia for the World Cup final. We have nothing against anyone and we are grateful to the Australian High Commission for reconsidering our case and granting us a visa this time,” he said.

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