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How far will people go to stay in Australia?

Would you risk your health to ensure a ‘better life’ for your family? Sometimes people go to extraordinary lengths to keep their families in Australia, as we can see from this story.

After seven years in Sydney, a Chinese teacher was told he failed Australia’s visa health requirement despite his hepatitis B medication costing just “a dollar a day”. Now, he is risking his health to have the decision overturned.

A Chinese father has stopped taking the medication that controls his hepatitis B in a last-ditch bid to keep him and his family in Australia.

Paul (not his real name), who wishes to remain anonymous, has lived in Sydney since 2012 when he moved with his wife and young children on a student visa. Paul later began teaching and applied for an employer-sponsored visa (subclass 186) that would allow him and his family to remain in the country permanently.

His children have received most of their education in Australia and speak English as their primary language. But last year he found out he had failed the government’s migration health requirement because he has hepatitis B – a virus likely inherited from his mother at birth – and it was deemed his healthcare would cost the taxpayer too much.

“My biggest concern is my children because I have been here for seven years and they receive their education here and I know it’s really hard for me to take them back to my country.”

The government’s immigration health criteria dictates that an applicant for Australian residency must be free from a disease or condition which “would be likely to require health care or community services” that would “result in a significant cost to the Australian community”.

Currently the “significant cost threshold” sits at $40,000.

“A hypothetical person in Australia with the same condition as the applicant, at the same severity, would be likely to require long term specialist health care services, including but not limited to antiviral pharmaceuticals,” Paul’s decision from the medical officer of the commonwealth read.

You can read the full article on the SBS website here – but this is clearly a concerning issue that appears to be more common than first thought.

If you are experiencing any issues with a visa, either applying for one or regarding your existing visa, do not hesitate to contact us and we’d be happy to chat things through with you.

Source of article – SBS

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