Scottish family being deported from Australia granted visa by minister

Scottish family set to be kicked out of Australia today after living there for 10 years are granted one-month visa at 11th hour by immigration minister after vowing to stay and fight deportation

  • Scottish family set to be deported from Australia have been allowed to stay
  • Labor’s new Immigration Minister Andrew Giles gave last-minute month reprieve
  • Mark Green, 44, and family spoke to immigration lawyer who told them to ‘fight’
  • He said they have a solid case and should be protected under Australia’s laws 
  • They got the news at 7pm (10am UK time) today while preparing to go to airport

A Scottish family who were set to be deported from Australia today after living there for a decade were told they can stay as they were preparing to leave for the airport.

The one month temporary visa granted to Mark Green, 44, and his family came as new Immigration Minister Andrew Giles – who took the position after Labor won the election in May – stepped in.

Mr Green, an electrical expert, was headhunted for his specialist solar installation skills in 2012 and flown to Australia with his wife Kelly, 45, and daughter Rebecca, 19.

But repeated broken promises by his employers to sponsor their permanent residency meant they were set to be deported from Australia at 10pm (1pm UK time) today.

The Greens (pictured on Australian TV news) were told on Wednesday at 7pm (10am UK time) just three hours before their 10pm (1pm UK time) deportation that they have been granted a temporary reprieve to stay in Australia

The Green family hugging on Australian TV news after sharing the news that they have been granted a temporary visa and will ‘fight’ to get permanent residency

Relocating to the UK will force them to leave their beloved pet dog Maisie (pictured with Kelly Green, left, and daughter Rebecca Green, right) behind because of prohibitive $35,000 (around £20,160) flights and quarantine fees

The Green family had packed up their lives, sold their furniture and were preparing to head to the airport for a flight out of the country.

But after consulting with a specialist immigration barrister they were advised they have grounds to appeal the deportation and decided to ‘stay and fight’. 

The family were informed at about 7pm (10am UK time) that the new federal Immigration Minister has personally stepped in to grant them a temporary visa for one month.

The reprieve from Labor’s Andrew Giles will allow the Greens to work through their new legal submission in the hopes they can be granted permanent residency. 

Labor Immigration Minister Scullin Andrew Giles (pictured) intervened to give the Green family a one-month temporary visa

‘Forcing a family to leave a country they’ve called home for 10 years simply to return to their country of origin to re-apply to return to Oz seems pointless and ridiculous,’ Mr Pangallo said Adelaide politician Frank Pangallo (pictured)

How does Australia’s immigration system work? 

Australia has a number of different immigration systems, all of which are tightly controlled.

One popular method is to be sponsored by an Australian company.

Employers must select a role that needs to be filled from the Government’s list of skilled occupations.

Once a role is selected, immigration authorities evaluate the nomination and determine if it meets their criteria.

Applicants are assessed on a number of different factors, including age, English language ability, training, health, character and what the market salary rates are.

In recent years Australia has also relaxed its visas for low-skilled workers – including visas aimed specifically at agriculture and fishing – amid a global demand for people to fill low-skilled labour.

South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas also became involved in the case on Wednesday and personally called to let the family know they could stay.

‘We’ve been in contact with our lawyer and he’s told us that we should stay and fight, so we’ve got together and decided that’s what we’re going to do,’ Mr Green said on Australian TV news programme A Current Affair this evening.

‘We feel like we’ve been let down terribly through the process of all this – even by the Australian government and we’re just hoping to rectify the situation.

‘We’ve had so many comments and we’re just overwhelmed by the amount of people that have supported us through this and we can’t thank everyone enough.’

South Australian politician Frank Pangallo from the SA Best party originally brought the family’s story to public awareness and was with them on Wednesday night.

He said SA Premier Peter Malinauskas ‘has just called me and said the Immigration Minister has granted a visa for another month to allow the family to work through their new submission’.

He joked to the Greens that they can now legitimately stay and fight their deportation and they ‘won’t be illegal tomorrow’.

The Greens said they were ecstatic to be returning to work tomorrow in Australia, with Mark adding his bosses ‘can’t wait’ to get him back. 

The Greens moved to their new home in Adelaide in 2012 with the promise of their permanent residency being sponsored by the company flying him in.

But every time he’s been eligible, the employers have folded before the paperwork could be completed – and it’s now happened seven times to the devastated family.

They are now being facing deported from their home back to the UK even although they’ve followed all the rules.

Moving back to the UK has cost the Green family $60,000 – around £34,560.

They would be forced to leave behind beloved pet dog Maisie and 12-year-old pet rabbit Marmaduke because of the prohibitive $35,000 (around £20,160) cost of flights and quarantine fees.

The Greens have already spent more than $150,000 on immigration lawyers and visa and residency applications but were told they had to leave Australia before attempting again.

Mr Green previously told Daily Mail Australia that the family had ‘sold it all’ to come out to Australia and ‘started again’.

‘And now we’re having to sell it all, to go back to Scotland, to try and apply to come back again, to restart again. For the third time. 

‘I’m nearly 50. We can’t go through this anymore. There’s nothing for us back in Scotland now.’

He added: ‘This is where I live. This is where my heart is. It’ll never change. Even if I go back to Scotland, here is where I will class as home.’

After consulting with a specialist immigration barrister the Greens were advised they have grounds to appeal the deportation and decided to ‘stay and fight’. Pictured: Scottish family Mark Green (right), 44, his wife Kelly (middle), 45, and daughter Rebecca (left), 19 were to be deported from Australia at 10pm (1pm UK time)

Electrical expert Mark Green, 44, was headhunted for his specialist solar installation skills in 2012 and flown out to Australia with his wife Kelly, 45, and daughter Rebecca, 19

Mr Green’s former employer in Australia advised him that he had submitted the paperwork to renew his visa but, as it turns out, he did not and the company then went into liquidation.

As a result under Australia’s strict immigration rules he can no longer stay in the country and was ordered to leave. 

The family is asking the Immigration Minister to change their bridging visa E-type to a bridging visa C-type to allow the family to apply again without having to leave the country.

An online petition to keep the Green family in Australia has more than 20,000 signatures.

Frank Pangallo has slammed both the previous Immigration Minister Alex Hawke of the Liberal party (the country’s main centre-right party) and the newly appointed Andrew Giles, saying both had been notified of the family’s visa situation and chose to do nothing.

‘Forcing a family to leave a country they’ve called home for 10 years simply to return to their country of origin to re-apply to return to Oz seems pointless and ridiculous,’ Mr Pangallo said.

‘And this is all happening while governments grapple with changes to the country’s skilled migration program due to massive shortages across the country.

‘If you want skilled migrants to come into this country, you better give them an undertaking they’ll be able to stay here and not be booted out when it suits you.’

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