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Tamil asylum seeker ‘Biloela family’ granted Australian permanent visas

Australia's Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles MP said he had intervened in the case following careful consideration.

The Tamil asylum seeker Nadesalingam family, popularly known as the Biloela family, have received Australia’s permanent visas.

A group of Biloela residents advocating for the Tamil asylum seeker family, called HometoBilo,  tweeted the announcement.

In a statement, Australia’s Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles MP said he had intervened in the case following careful consideration.

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Andrew Giles MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs (Twitter)
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Giles added that he had provided the family visas allowing them to remain permanently in Australia.

“This government made a commitment before the election that, if elected, we would allow the family to return to Biloela and resolve the family’s immigration status. Today, the government has delivered on that promise. This decision follows careful consideration of the Nadesalingam family’s complex and specific circumstances. I extend my best wishes to the Nadesalingam family.”

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Karen Andrews MP (Twitter)

Opposition Home Affairs spokesperson Karen Andrews MP told the media Labor government’s decision to grant the Nadesalingam family permanent visas set “a high-profile precedent”. She said:

“It undermines the policy that if you come here illegally you will never settle in Australia. Together with Labor’s policy to abolish temporary protection visas, this gives people smugglers a product to sell to desperate families and people.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tweeted that she is pleased to hear that the Nadesalingham family in Biloela has been granted permanent visas.

The Nadesalingam family, Priya Nadaraja, Nades Murugappan and their daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa, have been living in Biloela, Queensland since June. The family had previously spent four years in immigration detention as their claim for refugee status was rejected by the Coalition government.

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