Indian family facing deportation granted permanent visas

3-year-old Mary George suffers from a rare neurological condition. Source: Today Tonight

Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has used his public interest power to stop the family's deportation and grant them the Former Resident visa.

A young Indian family facing deportation to India due to their 3-year-old daughter’s rare neurological condition has been given a much-needed respite.

The Immigration Department has granted Former Resident visas to the family, allowing them to stay in Australia permanently.

Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who had earlier held that keeping the family in Australia was against the public interest, exercising his special public interest power overturned the deportation order and granted the family permanent visas on Wednesday.

A relieved Manu George thanked his friends and well-wishers.

“Thank God. Thanks to my friends and well wishers. We are permanent residents now. Thank you all,” he wrote on his Facebook.

Manu and his wife Seena arrived in Australia in 2011 on student visas. After having spent six years in Australia, their request for permanent residency was declined because of their daughter, Mary’s illness who suffers from Moebius syndrome -a rare neurological disorder characterised by weakness or paralysis of multiple cranial nerves, causing paralysis of her facial muscles.

Mr George says Mary’s illness is the result of a medical negligence caused at the time of birth and subsequent care she was receiving at the hospital.

“When she was 3-months-old, her feeding tube penetrated her intestine and she was severely sick. She remained on life support for 28 days,” says Mr George.

Mary at times finds it hard to breathe and requires an oxygen cylinder and she can’t eat. She is fed through a special tube inserted into her stomach.

Given her peculiar medical condition, her parents were extremely concerned about her prospects of getting good medical care in India.

“It’s not like a normal baby’s stomach,” says Mr George. “We don’t think doctors in India can manage.”

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