An Indian man in Melbourne risks being blocked from coming back to Australia if he escorts his dead father’s body back to India.
Jaspal Singh, who has a wife and child, is on a bridging visa which does not allow him to return if he leaves the country.
The 26-year-old, who arrived in Australia as a student, was waiting for the arrival of his father and mother at Melbourne Airport on Monday morning when tragedy struck.
Gurdyal Singh collapsed at the arrival gate following a suspected heart attack, and despite the efforts of paramedics he died at the scene.
The family is now making arrangements for the funeral, which will be held in India.
But there is no guarantee Mr Singh be allowed back into Australia if he escorts his father’s body back home.
Mr Singh’s wife Mandeep Kaur, who is pregnant with their second child, said the family was incredibly distressed.
“I am 12 weeks pregnant, I have an 11-month-old baby and my baby is suffering from kidney problems and I’m going to regular appointment with the doctor, and I can’t stay overseas with the baby.
“We’re all very upset, all the family, me, my mother-in-law, Jaspal.”
Siran Nyabally, a migration lawyer with Carina Ford who is dealing with the case, said the family was “devastated”.
“Jaspal is between a rock and a hard place,” she said.
“On the one hand his family is telling him that he needs to go back to India, he’s obliged as the only son in Australia to be with his mother.
“But on the other hand, if Jaspal leaves Australia, he’s going to be leaving a pregnant wife, who has suffered a miscarriage recently, and a young son who has suffered from kidney complications and is being referred to the Royal Children’s Hospital, indefinitely, with no guarantee that he will be allowed to come back to Australia.”
Case complicated by visa status
For three weeks in 2013 Mr Singh’s visa expired after he separated from his previous partner.
He applied for a new visa with his new wife but it can now only be approved by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
Ms Nyabally said Mr Dutton has the power to allow Mr Singh to return to Australia.
“What we’re asking for is for Mr Dutton to apply his own policies and consider intervening in this very, very unusual matter, where an Australian family unit would be ripped apart, were he not to act.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said it was now looking into the problem.
Minister Dutton previously granted visas to the family of a Pakistani student in Melbourne who was terminally ill, following an appeal from the public.
Mr Singh’s wife Ms Kaur issued a plea to the Minister to intervene in this case as well.
“I just want to impress on the Minister, please, as a human, please think about the matter.”
Source : ABC NEWS AU