A young man whose family faced deportation because his hearing impairment had been deemed a financial burden to Australia has been granted permanent residency, his mother has said.
- Family’s bid for permanent residency was initially rejected, but has now been overturned
- Hearing-impaired son would have struggled to communicate in Bhutan as he uses AUSLAN
- Mother wants to “thank everyone” who stood by the family
Kinley Wangchuk, 18, along with his family was facing deportation to Bhutan, where his mother said he would have trouble communicating because he used Australian Sign Language (Auslan).
Mr Wangchuk’s mother, Jangchu Pelden, was overwhelmed by the news, and said she wanted to thank everyone who had supported the family while the decision to deport them was under review.
“I just found out that we got permanent residency. We have been granted the residency and our migration agent has confirmed that,” Ms Pelden said.
“It’s more than a relief. This is what we have all wanted.”
Ms Pelden said the family, living in Queanbeyan in New South Wales, had not given up hope even after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) rejected their application for permanent residency on the basis Kinley’s health needs could be a burden on the health system.
“[The family] couldn’t believe it, all of us we couldn’t believe it, is it really really true? Maybe it’s a scam email or something? It was hard to believe,” Ms Pelden said.
“It’s like we have just got a hold on our life and dreams.”
The family migrated to Australia from Bhutan in 2012, and applied for permanent residency in 2015.
More than 50,000 people had signed an online petition calling on Immigration Minister David Coleman to overturn the AAT decision.
“I think the Minister was kind enough, and he has overturned the AAT’s decision,” Ms Pelden said.
“We really want to thank the honourable minister David Coleman for giving us this new life.”
Ms Pelden said both her sons had experienced their teenage years in Australia, and that Kinley would have struggled in Bhutan.
“Kinley has basically started his education from the zero level, from the beginning in Australia,” she said.
“He communicates in Auslan. Auslan is not done in Bhutan, and he would have to start from scratch again if we went back.
“It has been equally hard for my other son, Tenzin. He has been in the Australian education system for the last seven years, and he has got used to the Australian life.”
Ms Pelden said she was grateful for the support she had received.
“Please thank everyone … thank you so much,” she said.
The Department of Home Affairs has been contacted for comment.