Help Mr Lo, a stateless 76-year-old, stay in Australia
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Imagine if you were 76 years old, stateless in spite of living in Australia for 37 years, unable to receive any government benefits, and you have lost contact with all your remaining family members, or they have passed away.
What would you do?
This is the situation that Mr Lo is in, and we need your help to ensure he can stay in Australia.
76-year-old Mr Lo came to Australia from Hong Kong in 1981. He did not have a visa, but he had a permit to enter Australia, where he has now lived for 37 years. Yet he is now stateless, on a bridging visa that does not give him the right to stay in Australia permanently. His mother and his brother, who were Australian citizens, have now passed away. He is now nearly 80 years old, so he cannot work. He is not on any government benefits, and his application for Ministerial intervention into his case was rejected.
Mr Lo desperately needs your help to gain community support in order to obtain intervention from the Minister for Home Affairs and help him stay in Australia.
In the 1960s and 70s, Mr Lo's brother and mother first came here and became Australian citizens. Mr Lo first arrived on Australia's shores in 1981. He did not have a visa then, but did have a permit to enter Australia.
In 1991, his younger brother died unexpectedly, leaving Mr Lo to take care of his mother. For 23 years, he made a living and continued to support his mother. Then in 2014, his mother passed away, and the government no longer allowed him to continue living in his mother’s public housing. This has now shattered his life.
In the decades he has lived here, Mr Lo's brother helped him with his visa applications. After his brother passed away, Mr Lo, who knows little English, missed many visa conditions and deadlines.
Now, Mr Lo has nearly given up - what else can he do?
Return to mainland China? He was born there, but in 1942; how would he be able to find his birth certificate?
Return to Hong Kong? He lived there for several years, but the government can determine that he had given up his right of abode and his wife had been separated for many years. Hong Kong is not concerned with him, and now he no longer has any nationality. Even the Australian government does not know where Mr Lo can go.
Mr Lo is now very old. He has always complied with laws in Australia, he has struggled for decades, was a dutiful son who looked after his mother, and no longer has anyone to rely on. Now, as a stateless person, he lacks many rights and any country's protection.
Mr Lo is currently on a temporary bridging visa, so he cannot get any benefits. As a 76-year-old, he cannot work. From 2014 to now, he has spent almost all his savings, and needs to go to the immigration office every month to update his information.
In 2017, a Korean family in Melbourne was facing the same situation, but 7000 signatures on a petition led to the Minister intervening in their case and granting them permanent residency.
We need to show the Australian Government the closeness of Mr Lo's ties to Australia and his long-term integration into Australian society. Please sign, and give Mr Lo the chance to stay in Australia.
We give our deepest thanks to you on behalf of Mr Lo.
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