Migrant groups worry about Bhutanese boy being refused residency

Two peak advocacy groups for migrants and refugees in Australia, Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA) and the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA), have requested Immigration Minister David Coleman to reconsider the government decision to send back a teenage Bhutanese boy, SBS reported.

Australia had Australia refused to give permanent residency to the Bhutanese family citing their 18-year old disabled son.

The boy Kinley Wangyel Wangchuk has learning disabilities and hearing loss. His family have resided in Australia since 2012. The family said if they are forced to return to Bhutan, he will face a “world of isolation” due to social stigma and a lack of support.

The Migration Regulations 1994 dictates that an applicant for permanent residency must be “free from a disease or condition in relation to which a person who has it would be likely to require health care or community services”.

“We are deeply concerned that Kinley’s disability status is cited as the determining factor supporting the decision to deny permanent residency to Mrs Pelden (Kinley’s mother) and her family,” the joint letter reads.

“We question the legitimacy of any decision where an applicant’s disability has been assessed against, or is subject to, the health requirement of the Migration Act (1958), as it is known that the health requirement unfairly discriminates against people with disability.”

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