By Amit Sarwal and Jai Bharadwaj
Ravneet Kaur’s family migrated to Australia with dreams of starting a new life when she was just 12 years old.
Her mother arrived on a 457 visa that was sponsored by a local real estate developer who also owns restaurants and hotels. The family hoped that the temporary residency (TR) visa will convert into permanent residency (PR) in some years.
Ravneet, who has started a petition to get PR for the Singh and Kaur family, said in a statement:
“We trusted our sponsor, but he exploited my mum’s lack of awareness of Australian laws, and eventually didn’t put in our PR application.”
Now, Ravneet’s mother is 45 years old and cannot apply for Australian PR due to the age requirements under the immigration system.
“We as a family, urge Australian Multicultural Affairs Minister, Andrew Giles, to recognize our family efforts and allow us to permanently stay in Australia.”
In her petition, Ravneet alleges that her parents paid the employer who was also their visa sponsor approximately $350,000 to buy a house through his company.
“We did whatever they asked of us – my mother even went to court to give a statement in favour of the owner of the company because she was scared and in an uncompromisable situation having paid so much money.”
However, it turned out that the employer didn’t put in Singh and Kaur family’s PR application.
Ravneet claims that instead, the employer asked his friend’s business to put in the PR application. This was later withdrawn from the system thus resulting in the refusal of the family’s application.
Further, Ravneet adds:
“When we moved to the country, the sponsor told my parents to keep quiet. They didn’t have any support networks in a new, foreign country, and my parents went into depression, uncertain about their future.”
The withdrawal and refusal of the PR application led to the sale of the family home.
Ravneet says that her parents used part of that money, almost huge $50,000, to pay her education expenses as she was considered an international student.
“All their life, my parents have worked hard. My parents brought all their life savings to Australia to start a new life. My mother works for multiple employers as a cook and is one of the most experienced cooks among her colleagues. My dad has been also working as crop farm worker as a critical skilled worker.”
Today, Ravneet is a qualified nurse who has been working at a medical centre and aged care.
She says proudly:
“Throughout the pandemic, I have worked in aged care and in the local council while completing my studies.”
The Singh and Kaur family have also looked into filing a civil case against the mother’s former employer and his business. However, Ravneet feels, given the costs involved to file such a case against an established company without any legal support would be of any assistance for her family’s immigration matters.
“My parents and I are here and are willing to do the work, especially during a time of labour shortage. We are committed to our community and this country. Yet, we don’t have any sense of protection or security. We don’t see any ray of light.”
The family for now received an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) hearing date in early May 2023.
Ravneet feels that “it is certain that our PR application refusal appeal will be rejected as the business withdrew its nomination.” However, she is hopeful that her petition for Ministerial Intervention with at least 5,000 signatures of support from the local Australian community will bring to attention the family’s story and present situation to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles who may reconsider their right to stay in Australia.