Permanent Visa Granted to Autistic Boy and Mother
Maria Sevilla arrived in Australia with her son Tyrone in 2007 on a skilled provisional work visa. She has trained and worked as a nurse in Townsville, Queensland since then and applied to renew her visa recently. Sadly, her son was diagnosed with autism six months after they arrived in Australia, and when the government were informed of this her visa renewal application was rejected.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton explained that programs and resources for differently-abled Australian children are already lacking and that an assessment of the Sevilla’s visa application would have to take this into account. Dutton has to ensure that we can adequately support the education and medical treatment of Australia’s own children before committing itself to Tyrone’s case.
However, the case received national attention in the media and with a 125,000 signature petition that was delivered to Mr Dutton. One of Tyrone’s friends spoke on the ABC’s Q&A program, asking why Tyrone should be made to leave Australia when “he can get along with us and we can get along with him.”
The Guardian Australia also published an article, in which Sevilla spoke about her family as a support network. She said that her entire family was in Australia and should she be forced to return to the Philippines, she would be alone whilst attempting to in adjust Tyrone to a new environment from scratch (a process that can be extremely trialing).
Luckily, Mr Dutton paid attention to the petition, delivered personally to him by Sevilla and Tyrone. The mother and son were granted a permanent visa. Peter Dutton has called Australia a “generous country” and said that he is pleased to be able to offer Tyrone the support that he needs.; Unfortunately, stories like this are all too common and not everyone has Tyrone’s happy ending.
Mei and her autistic daughter Emeline arrived in Australia from Indonesia in 2012. Mei was abandoned by her family due to superstitions regarding Emiline’s condition. When Mei couldn’t afford to care for her daughter, she had to place her in an orphanage for several months. Emiline was discriminated against and bullied in by carers at the orphanage and when Mei returned for her, she was covered in lice and scabies.
Since coming to Australia, Mei has been able to provide her daughter with the support and education she needs. Mei says she’s seen remarkable improvement in her daughter’s condition and social skills since she’s been a part of the Australian community.
Mei has begun a petition like Maria and Tyrone’s, in the hope that Emiline might be able to continue her stay in Australia. Four days in to its launch, the petition has 15,000 supporters.
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