A nearly blind 96-year-old woman with mild dementia has been told she will be deported from Australia only two years after moving here to be with her last surviving family member.
The Daily Mail reported that Scottish migrant Christina Grant has been left heartbroken after Australian immigration told her a “common mistake” she made with her visa means she’s no longer welcome in the county.
The widow left her home country following the sudden and tragic death of her eldest son which happened shortly after her beloved husband died.
She came to Australia to be closer to her now only son, Alan, and his wife, Diane, who helps her with her day-to-day care.
Diane Grant said her mother-in-law didn’t mean to “break the rules” with her visa and her “mild dementia” and vision problems would make it difficult for her to live alone.
According to the elderly Grant’s visa, she was required to leave the country once a year for it to be continued.
Despite the fact she recently went on an international cruise to Vanuatu, she was told it “didn’t count”.
“Please tell anyone who has a condition on their visa to depart Australia every 12 months that ’round trip cruises’… are not considered ‘departing Australia’ by the immigration department — (even) travel agents have not been made aware of this,” Diane Grant said.
“[There is] nothing on the visa to indicate this and [we] could not find any information about this fact on the immigration website.
“[I] don’t want others to suffer as we are.”
Diane Grant said there was “no fine print” about this on the visa and that people were apparently just “supposed to know” that a trip to Vanuatu by boat would not count as leaving the country.
She said immigration officials she’d spoken to confirmed that this was a “common mistake” many people made.
And while the elderly Grant has not officially been kicked out of Australia, her daughter-in-law said they’ve been left with no option as immigration has threatened to do so if Grant is not on a plane by July 26.
“[She is] not happy about leaving the home her son has provided for her here in NSW,” Diane Grant said.
She said her heart broke as she’s watched her mother-in-law come to terms with being forced to leave but the family hopes they’ll get a place for her in a nursing home once they escort her back to Scotland.
This article first published on Starts at 60.