Family fight to stay in Australia is all about Tom
A NOOSAVILLE doctor is fighting to stay in Australia after his middle son, who has intellectual impairment and epilepsy, failed the health assessment component of a permanent visa application.
Stephen Grandison said the assessment process is flawed after it was estimated the cost of his 12-year-old son, Tom, to the government would be about $2.5 million.
This is even though his family has private health care and Tom "will continue to be provided for by our family".
"We are in a fortunate position that we have the skills, experience and financial stability to be able to care for Tom ourselves, with no need to access government support," Dr Grandison said.
"We do not anticipate being a burden on the government or community.
"In fact we would argue the opposite. I strongly believe that we as a family are and will continue to be an asset to this community."
Dr Grandison moved to Noosaville from the United Kingdom in February 2011, with his wife, Sarah, and three children. He came in on a 457 visa, a temporary visa, which allows businesses to sponsor skilled applicants.
Two years later his employer at Noosaville's 7 Day Doctors was so happy with Dr Grandison's work he was prepared to nominate him for a 186 visa. This is an employer nomination scheme that would allow him to stay permanently.
But after going through the visa application process, he was told Tom failed the health assessment.
They now have three weeks to gain public support in the hope the department will waive the health assessment decision.
Dr Grandison was aware when he moved to Australia he would face difficulty in obtaining a permanent visa because of Tom's condition.
He hoped if he could prove himself an asset to the community, compassion would be considered.
He has raised thousands of dollars for charity and Mrs Grandison is the assistant age manager at Noosa Surf Club's Nippers and volunteers her time teaching swimming for the disabled at Nambour Special School, where Tom is a student.
So far, Dr Grandison has had to correspond with nameless letter writers from the department.
He has started a petition and has been urging locals to write a letter of support.
To support the Grandisons, you can sign their petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/support-the-grandison-family-for-their-permanent or email them at Stephen.Grandison@noosaville7day.com.au.