Fam­ily granted visa ex­ten­sion

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - OLIVIA SHY­ING

A GEELONG fam­ily fac­ing im­mi­nent de­por­ta­tion has been granted a six-week ex­ten­sion visa as the Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter de­cides their fate.

Malaysian na­tion­als Har Mei “Jac­qui” Chew, Wai Cheong “Des” Low and chil­dren Daphne, 19, and Joab, 16, were fac­ing de­por­ta­tion this week af­ter their visas ex­pired on July 9.

The fam­ily’s bid for per­ma­nent visas was re­jected be­cause Ms Chew was di­ag­nosed with can­cer in 2017 and has been deemed a bur­den on the Aus­tralian med­i­cal sys­tem by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

The gov­ern­ment’s “one fails, all fails” health cri­te­ria meant the en­tire fam­ily was de­nied visas. But the fam­ily hope the de­ci­sion to refuse their visa ap­pli­ca­tion will be over­turned by Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter David Cole­man.

On Fri­day, their tem­po­rary visas were ex­tended for six weeks, while Mr Cole­man makes his fi­nal de­ci­sion.

The fam­ily’s plight has at­tracted an out­pour­ing of com­mu­nity sup­port, with lead­ers in­clud­ing for­mer mayor Keith Fagg and fed­eral Deputy Op­po­si­tion Leader Richard Mar­les urg­ing the min­is­ter to re­con­sider the ap­pli­ca­tion.

“Peo­ple have been telling me to take it one step at a time,” Mr Low said.

“But my wife and chil­dren, they are dis­tressed and anx­ious.”

The Depart­ment of Home Af­fairs pre­vi­ously said it does not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases.

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