Statement on denial of Australian tourist visa for British woman

We have been made aware of problems that people with Down’s syndrome may face when accessing visas for international travel. People with Down’s syndrome should be able to live full and rewarding lives in the same way as everybody else, including international travel.

You can read more about Ashleigh’s story here.

“The Down’s Syndrome Association is shocked to hear about the struggles of Ashleigh and her family in obtaining a tourist visa for Australia. This is a human rights issue and Ashleigh is clearly being discriminated against because she has Down’s syndrome.

People with Down’s syndrome should have the same opportunities as everyone else, in every area of life, including international travel.

The DSA is here to support people with Down’s syndrome and their families and we will use our international contacts to do everything we can to help the situation. This is not an isolated incident, and Australia is not the only country that needs to make improvements to its laws surrounding immigration.” – Carol Boys, Chief Executive

8th March 2019


We are delighted to hear that the requirement for Ashleigh to have a medical examination has been waivered and that her tourist visa has been granted.

As soon as we heard about Ashleigh’s case we contacted Down Syndrome Australia, through the Down Syndrome International (DSi) network,  who were able to speed up the resolution of the matter by working with the Immigration Department on behalf of Ashleigh.

Through organised collaboration as part of DSi, we were able to move quickly to support people with Down’s syndrome and their families in different parts of the world. The Down’s Syndrome Association is here to help and support people with Downs syndrome in all aspects of their lives and make sure their voice is heard.