Frail Navy war hero, 92, faces being deported from Australia
Dementia Briton is deemed a burden
A BRITISH war veteran who has lived in Australia for a decade is facing deportation at the age of 92 because he is deemed a burden on the health system.
Great-grandfather James Bradley, who served with the Navy in the Second World War, has launched a last-ditch appeal to immigration authorities to ‘have a heart’ and let him stay in the country with his family.
He went to Australia with his wife Peggie in 2007 to join their daughter and her children.
They applied for a parent visa, which allows over-65s to live in the country if their child is an Australian citizen.
Both passed mandatory health checks at the time, but because of the extended wait for applications to be processed – sometimes up to 30 years – Mr Bradley has now failed the tests as he suffers from earlystage dementia and has to walk with a frame.
Immigration authorities told him last year that his visa application had been rejected as he was likely
‘He could not survive deportation’
to ‘result in a significant cost to the Australian community’.
‘Considering my background, I think I’ve been treated shabbily,’ Mr Bradley told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
‘I’ve waited in a queue for permanent residency for ten years, only to be rejected.
‘I’d like to be able to spend whatever time I’ve got left here in Australia with my family.’
Mrs Bradley, 91, also had her visa rejected, despite being in good health, because the couple came to Australia as a couple.
In a desperate push for clemency from the immigration department, Mrs Bradley went on television in Australia to plead for the decision to be changed.
‘Have a heart – allow him to stay,’ she said.
‘He served his country during the war. Not just for Britain but for Australia and for all humanity and mankind.’
She said that, although they are old, the couple do ‘ play a part’ and she collects her nineyear- old granddaughter Karis from school most days.
‘We can’t believe that anyone knowing our history would have grounds for rejecting us,’ she said. The couple’s daughter Sharon Bradley-Town has also written to Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton begging him to overturn the decision.
‘Every day, the uncertainty around their immigration status weighs on dad’s bent shoulders like the heaviest of invisible sacks,’ she wrote. ‘ He worries terribly about what will happen to him and to Peggie… when he is gone. He could not survive deportation.’ The couple are among 80,000 people in Australia waiting for a permanent parent visa. The Australian government limits the number of parent visas available each year, which has led to waiting times of up to 30 years before they are approved.
A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said the Bradleys’ appeal was being considered, but declined to comment further.
Parent visas require sponsorship from an eligible child and applicants must be aged 65 or over. Applicants are required to satisfy health and character requirements. Australian migration lawyer Anna Dobos said: ‘It doesn’t suit any purpose to have people sitting in the queue for 20, 30 years.’
Expat: James Bradley with his granddaughter Karis, nine
Veteran: Serving in the Navy