14 June 2012

Threlfall family granted Australia visa

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David Threlfall and his family have been granted an Australia visa after Immigration Minister Chris Bowen intervened on their case to make their dreams come true.

Australia visa

The Threlfall family is now overjoyed and planning their trip Down Under

The Threlfall family's Australia visa application was initially declined due to fears that the cost of treatment of 25-year-old Sarah Threlfall's autism would pose a burden on the state.

Despite Sarah working two jobs as well as volunteering in the UK, the Threlfalls were left devastated and forced to face the prospect of remaining the UK.

However, after their story was widely reported, the Intellectual Disability Association of South Australia as well as Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, immigration spokesperson for the Australian Greens lobbied Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.

The minister then stepped in and reversed the decision, allowing the Threlfall family to fulfil their dream of moving to South Australia.

The policy of excluding potential migrants due to medical conditions and the cost of their resultant treatment costs is known as the Significant Cost Threshold and remains a controversial part of Australian immigration requirements. Ms Hanson-Young says the policy needs to be updated.

"This case, like similar ones in recent years show why there must be reforms to the health waiver requirement," Ms Hanson-Young said.

"The Greens call on the government to fulfil the recommendations from the Enabling Australia 2010 parliamentary inquiry report, particularly raising the cost threshold of the health requirement and those criteria affecting family migration.

Mr Threlfall, a London Metropolitan Police officer who had secured a similar position with the Ceduna Police force before his original application was denied, said the reversal was astonishing.

"This is unbelievable. I just can't get over it," said Mr Threlfall, who had spent months trying to appeal the decision with no success.

"I knew it was achievable, it was just getting the right person to overturn this bad decision, but it was so hard to get to that person. My wife is in tears - we are so happy."

The South Australia Police have also informed Mr Threlfall that the position in Ceduna was still available to him.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge their applications with the Australian Embassy.

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