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1. Two Queensland siblings face deportation three days before Christmas.
20-year-old, Phillip Choi and his sister, Amy, 18, are facing deportation on the 22nd of December after Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, has refused to grant them permanent residency.
Phillip has lived in Australia for over 13 years, whilst Amy was born in Queensland, their family returning to South Korea between 1998-2005. Both siblings, who call the Gold Coast home, received OP 1s and are regular volunteers in the community and non-for-profits, with Phillip being the captain of his high school and receiving an academic scholarship to study at the University of Queensland.
In 2013, their family were assessed by then Minister, Brendan O’Connor, for a permanent residency in Australia, which was subject to health and character assessments.
It has been only in the past months that their application for a permanent visa has been denied by the Immigration department, and instead granted 6 month visitor visas that expire this Tuesday.
Phillip has told Mamamia that whilst his family are able to stay in the country on these visas, their options are so strictly limited.
“[A]lthough it [the visa] provides us with the opportunity to apply for further stay, our options are gloomy,” Phillip said, “Another visitor visa will put us into further limbo for few months, unable to work. The student visa is not an option due to the high fees. The implications of the visitor visa are nothing short of deportation.
“We tried numerous times for answers as to why the decision for residency was revoked, if we passed the health and character checks. The answers we get every time is that it was in the public interest to do so.”