A Scottish family who have lived in Australia for more than 10 years have finally won their long battle to stay here.
The Green family has been given permission to remain in Australia while applying for permanent residency after an almost year-long legal battle costing more than $150,000.
Mark Green, 44, his wife Kelly, 45, son Jamie and daughter Rebecca moved to Australia from Scotland in February, 2012, when Mr Green was headhunted for his specialist solar panel installation skills in Adelaide.
However, in May, 2014, Mr Green was forced to change jobs after the solar company he worked for went broke – putting his visa in jeopardy just one year before he qualified for residency.
The Greens family have been granted permission to apply for permanent residency (pictured, Mark Green, 44, wife Kelly, 45, and daughter Rebecca, 19)
The family was desperate to stay in Australia but were let down by another seven employers who folded before their visa paperwork could be filled.
One former boss had promised Mr Green he would paid for the family’s citizen application fees only for the Scottish family to find out he had faked the documents.
Mr Green’s son, Jamie, had to fly back to their former home in Ayrshire in 2015 after the family’s visa struggles prevented him from working in Australia.
In June, 2022, the Greens made a public appeal for help from the newly-elected Labor Government after seeing the Tamil asylum seeking Murugappan family was allowed to stay in Biloela, regional Queensland.
They said they’d given up their entire lives in Scotland to build a home in Australia and sold everything they owned.
Mr Green’s UK electrical certification had also expired since he’d moved to Australia – meaning he faced unemployment if he was forced to move back.
Mark Green (pictured with his wife Kelly) moved his family to Adelaide in 2012 after he was headhunted by a solar panel company
The family were set to be deported and were booked on a flight to the UK at 10.20pm on August 10, 2022, but were granted a last-minute reprieve from immigration minister Andrew Giles.
Just shy of a year since their public appeal, the Greens have finally been given approval to apply for permanent residency.
Mr Green told 2GB‘s Ben Fordham: ‘The Minister has given us a 600 visitor visa which allows us to apply within the country.’
He said his family has spent more than $150,000 on visa applications and immigration lawyers during the battle to stay Down Under.
TIMELINE OF THE GREENS’ PLIGHT
February 2012 – Mark Green is headhunted for his specialist solar installation skills to fly his family out from Ayrshire 40km south-west of Glasgow in Scotland to a new life in Adelaide, South Australia, 16,000km away.
May 2014 – Mark has to change jobs, just one year away from qualifying for residency after the company closes.
August 2014 – History repeats and Mark has to find another new employer. The family is paying for all their own healthcare as they don’t qualify for Medicare on their visa and also $8,000 a year for daughter Rebecca’s education at the local public state school.
August 2015 – Mark has to find another new company. His son Jamie has had to fly back to Scotland because he was unable to work in Australia under the terms of the work visa and residency is at least three years away again.
April 2021 – The Green family discover the residency application Mark’s boss promised them was faked, unbeknownst to them. As a result their visa conditions had been breached which means they had to leave the country to re-apply. They begin work on trying to overturn the decision and get the visa reverted to the type which would allow them to stay in Australia while they apply. As the application drags on they realise they will be kicked out the country and start selling their prized possessions.
June 2022 – They make their first public appeal to the government for mercy, as friends and co-workers beg for an intervention the way the new Labor government saved the Biloela family and allowed them to stay in the country. The family have already spent $150,000 on visa applications and immigration lawyers.
July 2022 – Daily Mail Australia reveals their desperate plight and the story goes global, making headlines in the UK and on British TV.
August 10, 2022 – The family are due to be deported and have a flight booked at 10.20pm from Adelaide back to the UK, but they have no idea where they will live or work. After local MP Frank Pangallo puts them in touch with a new immigration lawyer, they’re persuaded to stay and fight at 3.30pm. At 7pm, just as they should have been checking in for their flight, they get a call from South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas telling them they’ve been given a reprieve. He persuaded Labor immigration minister Andrew Giles to give them an extra month to file their paperwork to stay in the country.
August 22, 2022 – The family are given 24 hours to fill in some 240 pages of visa paperwork requiring all their travel details from the past three decades but are hindered by handing back their old passports with details of visas and international movements when they were renewed earlier this year.
August 29, 2022 – The minister wants the finalised full file on the family’s visa application to make his decision.