‘What is worse than not granting visa to family at last stage of Hassan Asif’s life’: Pakistani Australian Federation

Melbourne (Report by Sarwat Hassan, 23 Dec 2015): Thousands of people are struggling to understand why the Australian Immigration has denied the visa for a family of a Pakistani student suffering from terminal cancer. Many members of the Australian Pakistani community are signing online-petitions, sending letters of request to the Australian Immigration department and creating support pages on social media.

Hassan Asif, is just 25-years old and battling a serious situation with the health authorities informing that he may only have a few weeks to live. Asif first came to Australia in 2014 on a student visa, before he was diagnosed with advanced metastatic melanoma – skin cancer. Facing financial burdens and no place to live he is being held by his carers at Melbourne City Mission youth homelessness refuge.

It is not clear why the application for Hassan Asif’s brother and mother was refused but many believe it may be due to rigorous security checks that countries like Pakistan face. Nevertheless, no one has questioned the authenticity of the case as Hassan Asif as he has a genuine reason – the right of someone suffering with cancer and would like to see their loved ones. No clear answer to the refusal has yet been provided to the media or public but a request for Hassan to lodge his application again.

Shadow immigration minister Richard Marles while speaking to ABC media said Mr Peter Dutton should intervene and reverse the “callous” decision.

Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Hanson-Young posted a  request on social media saying Australian Prime Minister Mr Turnbull should “override Peter Dutton’s decision” while Greens leader Richard Di Natale also urged the Government to reconsider the applications.

Pakistani Australian Federation has stressed that Australian government should make sure that the close family relatives of Mr Hassan Asif’s are with him in this critical and testing time for his life. ‘The member of the Pakistani community, community leaders and other influential figures should influence the Australian government to immediately process the visa application lodged by Mr Asif’s relatives’ said Mr Syed Atiq ul Hassan, founding President  of Pakistani Australian Federation (PAF).

Source: Tribune Intl, ABC network and Department of Immigration Australia

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