Family of asylum seeker family granted permanent residency visas

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Family of asylum seeker family granted permanent residency visas

The family of Nadesalingam are living a very happy life in Biloela, just under two months after their return to the town.

The four members of the Tamil asylum seeker family were granted permanent residency visas on Friday, bringing an end to their four-and-a-half-year immigration ordeal.

My girls' life is safe, mum Priya Nadaraja said.

Priya, her husband Nades Murugappan and her daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa have been living in Biloela, in regional Queensland since June after the new Labor government granted them bridging visas.

The family spent four years in immigration detention after Priya's visa expired in 2018 and both she and her husband's claims for refugee status were rejected by the former Coalition government.

Priya said that the long journey, four and a half years of hard life was a long journey.

Priya said she and Nades were thankful for all of their supporters and friends, and the federal government for the visas.

Nades returned to Biloela meatworks, where he worked before the family was taken away by immigration officials in 2018. The couple is looking to start up a food van.

Priya is learning how to drive.

I'm good. She said she gained confidence quickly.

She said the girls were back at school and loving it.

For Tharnicaa seeing her friends was her favourite thing about going to school.

The decision by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to grant family permanent residency visas has opened up a war of words between the government and the opposition.

The decision was made after careful consideration of the family's complex and specific circumstances. The government made a commitment that if elected, we would allow the family to return to Biloela and resolve the family's immigration status, he said on Friday.

Shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that the decision to give the family a permanent visa undermined the immigration policies of past Coalition governments.

She said that actions have consequences and this sets a high-profile precedent.

It undermines the policy that if you come here illegally you will never settle in Australia. The Banana Shire Mayor Nev Ferrier hopes that the decision is the end of the family's ordeal.

People think boats will keep coming, but we'll keep turning boats back, he said.

There is nothing wrong with this family. Biloela is now on the tourism map.

He said the family's plight, and the community response the family had received, had put Biloela on the national tourism map.

He said people told me they've come to Biloela because they've heard about it.

Angela Fredericks, the family friend, said the Home to Bilo campaign she was a spokesman for would not be wrapping up just because the family was home.

She believes this case is a really important case in Australia's history.

I think it shows that Australians as a whole want to have a new discussion about our immigration policies.

Australians are tired of watching people be killed in our name for the simple fact that they have come to our shores looking for safety.

I hope this case will make our government reconsider its immigration policies. She said that the family's ultimate dream was to become Australian citizens, something they'll apply for once they're eligible.