Please help the Lan Family remain in Australia Permanently!
Please help the Lan Family remain in Australia Permanently!
TLDR: My parents (Alice and Eric) and sister (Jana) are facing a huge risk of having to leave Australia after living here for over 20 years. This is because my sister has cerebral palsy, one of the most common disabilities in Australia affecting movement and muscle coordination. Her condition means she is unable to pass the health requirements for immigration purposes. They are now waiting for the decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for their appeal, but under the current legal system they have no chance for a positive result.
They will be forced to return to Hong Kong with nowhere to live, no job and no support. My entire family will be torn apart. The Minister is the only person with the authority to replace the tribunal’s decision and grant them permanent residency. The future of my family is now in his hands.
Please help us by signing this petition to let them stay!
My name is Kiki Lan – I am creating this petition for my parents (Alice - Suet Yee Tsang and Eric - Man Wa Lan) and my sister (Jana) to support their application to remain in Australia. We have been applying for temporary visa renewals for the last 20 years to remain together as a family due to my sister’s disability. Our most recent visa application was rejected, and my parents and sister are at risk of leaving Australia in the next few months.
Like many immigrant parents, my parents made the tough decision and sacrificed everything they had in Hong Kong to start afresh and move to Melbourne, Australia in 2001 with my brother Jonathan, sister Jana and myself. My parents fell in love with the diverse culture, the warm and welcoming people and the vibrant lifestyle in Australia. Most of my mum’s family including my grandparents are also Australian citizens living in Melbourne.
Despite living in Australia for over 20 years, my parents and sister are still holding a temporary visa and are unable to progress to a permanent residency (PR) status in Australia due to Jana’s disability. Jana has cerebral palsy, a condition affecting muscle and movement. Unfortunately in the eyes of the law Jana is deemed a liability and a financial burden to our healthcare system. However, not once have we needed or applied for government or third-party assistance - we all contribute to Jana’s care ourselves as a family. Although Jana needs full time help with everyday tasks, she is very easy to care for with no dietary requirements or medications needed. Our family can continue to comfortably support Jana’s future without placing any burden on the government or anyone else. Throughout the past 20 years, we have only shown that Jana is stable and in excellent health through annual routine medical visits supported by her GP and specialist.
Jana is the joy of our family and we love and adore her so much. Her bright personality and infectious laughter never fails to make an impression on everyone around her. She does not allow her physical limitations to prevent her from enjoying her life to the fullest and she has always been happy and healthy.
Due to Jana’s condition and the requirement for a medical exemption, my family were left with only one viable option - to live under a temporary working visa (subclass 457). In order for my family to remain together as one, it left us with no other choice but to apply for a renewal every four years. We hoped for a miracle, where the government would revise the immigration laws and review applications with disabilities on an individual basis. Despite all this, my family never once stopped giving back to the community.
They have proven their contributions to the Australian economy by paying taxes over the last 20 years, and through their own self-built wholesale business since 2003, providing an exclusive range of giftware and home décor to over 300 small businesses across Australia and New Zealand. They are also active volunteers in their local church, dedicating their time, effort and energy to serve their church and their community. They are the most loving and selfless people. Many people who personally know my parents can attest to their genuine and kind-hearted personalities. They have always been humble and thankful for the opportunity to live in Australia despite all their hardships.
They have raised my brother and I through years of schooling including tertiary education and we are working hard to give back to the community through their efforts. In 2012, my brother became an Australian citizen and now is raising his own family with two young children. I also recently became an Australian citizen, working as a radiographer at a major tertiary hospital in Melbourne, contributing towards the COVID-19 pandemic as a frontline healthcare worker.
Our application to renew the 457 visa was refused after visa changes in March 2018. Unfortunately, that means we no longer meet the new visa requirements. They will also have no chance of success with their appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) due to legal restrictions. We have exhausted all possible options and the only way forward is to rely on the Minister’s intervention to overturn the AAT’s decision and grant them permanent residency to keep my family together.
If the Minister decides not to intervene, my parents and sister will need to leave our home and our family after 20 years living in Australia. They will have nothing in Hong Kong – no home, no job, and no support. This will break our entire family through four generations, leaving us with severe emotional and mental distress and enormous financial burden. Due to recent developments and political turmoil in Hong Kong, my parents do not feel safe living in Hong Kong anymore. The changes in National security law that has affected their citizen's freedom of speech and democracy has caused ongoing protests and events that makes living in Hong Kong never the same as 20 years ago. There is no way they can adapt and start afresh in Hong Kong. Their business will also fall apart, creating a snowball effect on their hundreds of loyal clients whose job opportunities will be impacted and are already struggling to survive due to the pandemic.
It will be incredibly devastating to lose my parents who have sacrificed everything they had to give us a better life, and also my sister who we have never been apart from. Our family is tightly bound and we all rely on one another. They are my biggest physical and emotional support during these incredibly difficult times and I cannot imagine how to endure mentally without them. My two nieces will grow up without their grandparents, and my grandma who is already struggling with the grief of losing my grandpa will not be able to cope with another loss.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our family’s visa situation. Please help support our case for Ministerial intervention by signing the online petition and sharing our story.